Large scale find

080217 gecko 1
Credit: F. Glaw

Welcome Geckolepis megalepis to the clan, a new species of fish-scale gecko. Its Greek etymology roughly translates to “very large scale” referring to its remarkably sizeable scales – proportionally larger than any other in its genus.

These large body scales are superficially attached to the skin and uniquely designed for easy tearing. This impressive anti-predator defence mechanism enables these lizards to shed their protective exterior upon even the slightest touch and regenerate their scales, scar-free within weeks.

This regenerative quality has the potential to be applied to human medicine. Research into tissue regeneration has already been steered by studies on salamander limbs and lizard tails.

Geckolepis megalepis was described in the journal PeerJ.

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