Can Alligators regrow their tails?

Recently, a study has found that similar to small reptiles like geckos, the alligators can also sacrifice and regrow their tails. Young American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) can regrow up to 18 percent of their total body length back, about 23 cm in length. However, unlike lizards which form new tails with muscles, these species form tails without muscles.

About Alligators

  • Alligator is a species of ‘Crocodilian’, which are large semi-aquatic and predatory reptiles.
  • At present there are only two species of alligators existing namely the American alligator and the Chinese alligator, native to United States, México and China.
  • Alligators are considered an important species for maintaining ecological diversity in wetlands, as their holes provide habitat for other animals during drought.

Conservation status of Alligators

The Chinese Alligator are under Critically Endangered category. They were last assessed in 2017. The American Alligators are under Least Concerned category. They were last assessed in 1996.

Categories of IUCN Red List

The categories in International Union of Conservation of Union (IUCN) Red List of threatened species are as follows

  • Not Evaluated
  • Data Deficient
  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the wild
  • Extinct

The IUCN Red List of threatened species is the largest assessment of species. It has assessed more than one lakh species. Out of this one lakh species, 28,338 are threatened with extinction. The IUCN Red List is considered as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity. It is the key indicator for the Aichi Targets and Sustainable Development Goals.

Significance of IUCN

The Ramsar Convention, CITES and other important multilateral agreements use the IUCN red list to make important decisions. The World Bank uses the IUCN Red List data to evaluate the risk of biodiversity damages.

The cells possessing regenerative capabilities in animals are seldom used in regenerative therapies in humans.

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