lizards are special and famous creatures for dropping their tails in emergencies, so one of the interesting questions in this area is that these reptiles How do they hold their detachable tails and drop them only when they feel threatened?

The interesting structure of a lizard's tail and its capabilities

He searched the lizard's tail. In fact, the researchers report that the reptile's internal structure consists of special nanopores and micropillars that hold the lizard's tail firmly in place so that it does not fall apart due to movement and collision with obstacles, but at the same time is in a position. Autotomy is a common defense strategy in the animal kingdom (including many species of lizards), but it can also be quite risky. . The presence of a detachable limb in the animal's body is always associated with the risk of accidental loss due to impact or impact. The lizard's tail is made up of several parts that have a similar structure to plugs and sockets for connection. Depending on How much of the tail the lizard intends to drop, the tail can break along any of the points. It should be noted that these cut points are called Fracture Planes.

In each section of the lizard's tail, there are circular muscular and conical appendages that can be cut with holes. Other, fasten well (such as sockets and plugs). In this regard, it is interesting to know that each appendage in turn is like a forest of bumps or micromiles that completely cover it (for a better understanding of this structure, you can refer to the figure below!).

In this figure, the connection points (appendages and holes) or the break plate in each cut From the tail of a lizard, displayed. These joints are not very strong and are prone to accidental fractures. In general, lizards that are able to shed their tails have developed a complex structure for their tails over time that has micro- and nano-scale features that can easily fall in times of danger while colliding with crawling. On Earth, do not detach from it!

Experiments to better understand the lizard's tail structure

To better understand the tail function of these creatures, researchers first inhaled the tails of three different species of lizards with a Gently pull the detachment. they then examined the cut pieces of the tail using a scanning electron microscope. It is interesting to know that by enlarging each of the protrusions on the appendages, the presence of nanopores on them was identified.

Each section of the lizard's tail has eight muscular, conical appendages (left) that act as a plug for sockets (holes in the other section). An enlarged image of one of the appendages (right) shows nanopores covered with micropiles. The clay is pressed, leaving a trace of itself. This came as a surprise to the researchers, as the micromilks were expected to lock completely into the hole (like an adhesive button). But these observations show that these protruding micromillets do not cause any additional adhesion.

To connect the lizard's tail parts to each other, the appendages fit well into the corresponding holes (such as the shadow indentations in the image on the left). The inner walls of the holes (pictured right) are relatively smooth; But slight traces of protruding micromillets can be seen on it.

Thus, despite such observations, scientists suspected that microfibers (nanoporous micromillets) should play a different role. During this process, team members began making the tail of a polydimethylsiloxane lizard. It is interesting to note that this material has a rubbery and fleshy appearance, and is excellent for mimicking the process of tail separation. Because it allows researchers to study the forces exerted during tail cutting. During these studies, researchers found that deep gaps between micromillets, along with small holes (nanopores) on their surfaces, slowed the initial fracture process.

A slit is created on a section of the tail and reaches the holes (which is almost empty!), The progress of the slit is stopped despite these grooves and depressions, and then It loses its diffusion energy! In other words, the onset and progression of a fracture can be stopped in its path.

Therefore, any depression or groove is helpful; In fact, nanopores with micropores increase tail adhesion 15 times more than smooth, microporous appendages, and slightly more than nanoporous microfibers. In general, the hierarchical structure of the Prong, Pillar, and Pore brings the strength of the lizard's tail sections to a fine balance, which is neither too stiff nor too loose!

Nanoporous micropores they increase the tail 15 times more than smooth appendages without microfibers and slightly more than microfibers without nanopores!


From what has been said, you should know that these adaptations are important for lizard survival, because while an autotomy helps prevent lizards from turning into lunch, it can be a mechanism. It is also a costly defense. Because it affects the lizard's ability to run, jump, mate and escape predators. Therefore, it is important that the lizard can release its tail only when necessary.

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