A newly discovered species of gecko found living in Madagascar possesses a remarkable defense mechanism to ward off predators.
The creature, dubbed Geckolepis megalepis, quickly and easily sheds its scales when danger is afoot.
Should the reptile find itself the target of a hungry predator, it sacrifices the scales to escape the attack which leaves the gecko looking naked but likely no longer afraid.
Meanwhile, the unfortunate animal that encountered this scenario is left to contend with a mouthful of thick, bony scales while the nude gecko presumably scurries away to safety.
Scientists who studied the newfound reptile marveled that this particular ‘skill’ goes well beyond other gecko species’ ability to regrow their tail as well as similar variations of the creature that can also shed their scales but at a much greater effort.
Evolution appears to have been kind to the gecko as it can swiftly reproduce the scales at a rate much faster than other species and, amazingly, they grow in a way where they are almost already perforated and ready to detach when the time comes.
Whether the tactic serves to makes the gecko look less appetizing to other animals probably depends on how hungry they are, but we wouldn’t blame them if they passed on the slimy-looking meal.
Source: BBC News