It has long been known that lizards will shed their tails when threatened by a predator.  This is known as autotomy which is from the Greek ‘auto’ = self, and ‘tomy’ = severing.  So autotomy literally means ‘self-amputation’.

In lizards, the tail will break off at a specific place towards the base of the tail.  When the tail breaks off, the blood vessels automatically constrict to prevent any blood loss.  The skin also begins to pull over and close up the wound.

Quite often, the tail will continue to wiggle and squirm for minutes afterward.  In many instances, the predator will attack the tail while the lizard runs away to safety.  In time, the tail grows back.

Autotomy is also known to take place in crabs, brittle stars, lobsters and spiders.  Stephanie Bush, a researcher at the University of Rhode Island has discovered that the octopus squid, Octopoteuthis deletron, will also shed part of their arms or tentacles when they feel threatened.  The section of arm left behind will wiggle and draw the attention of the predator just like the shed tail of a lizard.  Watch the video as they actually filmed one of the squids shedding parts of two arms and you can see one of the wiggle and squirm.

Autotomy, the ability to shed a body part without losing lots of blood and then regenerating the missing part, is a problem for evolutionists.  How would a lizard or squid evolve a cleavage plain designed to shed the body part, stop bleeding and contract the skin around wound and then regenerate the missing part.  All of these features would have had to evolve at the same time or the animal would probably have bled to death or not been able to re-grow the tail or arm.The only explanation that makes sense of autotomy is that God designed these animals to do this as a defense mechanism from the very beginning.  All parts of the process were put in place from when God created the octopus squid on Day 5 and the lizards on Day 6.

Reference: Gannon, Megan.  Deep-Sea Squid Ditches Wriggling Arms to Escape Predators, Live Science, Aug. 2, 2010.

Adventures of Arkie the Archaeopteryx

By Ryan Jaroncyk
Illustrated by Lisa Sodera

Join Arkie the Archaeopteryx as he flies through an ancient jungle and meets many unique creatures that are also not missing links. This delightful adventure helps children look at the natural world through a biblical lens, giving glory to God.


Hardback, 48 pages

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