Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Geckos, tiny dinosaurs, cave man couture, and more



Leopard Gecko
(Biosphoto / Gunther Michel / Peter Arnold Inc.)
Name: The leopard gecko, or Eublepharis macularius.
Tails They Lose: Like many other lizards, the leopard gecko can shed its tail to distract predators.
Rhythm They Lack: What's unusual, researchers from Clemson and the University of Calgary have found, is that the detached tails move not just back and forth, as in other species, but also flip and flop.
Potential They Have: Studying leopard gecko tails could help scientists understand complex movements that aren't guided by a central nervous system; they say the information might prove useful to people with spinal cord injuries.

Learn more about the leopard gecko at the Encyclopedia of Life.

Leopard geckos can shed their tail to distract predators, and the tails can leap up to 3 cm in one jump

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