Gecko sheds scales, skin to flee at­tack­ers

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NEWS -

The fish-scale gecko has a freaky way of elud­ing dan­ger. When snatched by an at­tacker, it rips off its scales and skin so it can slip away un­scathed. The torn-away scales re­veal the gecko’s pink flesh, through which you can see its spine and blood ves­sels.

“It looks like a fish un­til you grab it, and then it looks like a naked chicken breast,” said Mark D. Scherz, a doc­toral can­di­date at Lud­wig Max­i­m­il­ian Univer­sity of Munich who just dis­cov­ered a species with the largest scales yet in north­ern Mada­gas­car. The gecko isn’t hurt. Scales grow back in a dif­fer­ent pat­tern but oth­er­wise are nearly in­dis­tin­guish­able from the orig­i­nals.

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