Gecko's strange tactic for escaping predators

  • 9 February 2017
gecko Image copyright Mark D. Scherz

This newly discovered species of gecko has a pretty unusual defence mechanism, for giving predators the slip.

Called the Geckolepis megalepis, this little gecko can be found on the island of Madagascar.

It has the largest scales of any gecko, and is a member of the fish-scale family.

But, the interesting thing about this gecko, is it can shed its scales very quickly if it feels scared.

Image copyright Mark D. Scherz
Image caption The gecko sheds its scales when it feels threatened or scared.

This doesn't hurt the gecko, and the scales grow back in a few weeks.

However this made it quite tricky for the scientists to study the gecko, as they used its scales to tell it apart from other geckos.

Some species of gecko also shed their tails if they feel scared, but can re-grow them again.

The Geckolepis megalepis is the first new species of this type of gecko to be discovered in 75 years.

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