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Extremely Rare Tripple Tailed Lizard Discovered in Kosovo

Tripple Tailed Lizard

Last June, a blue-throated keeled lizard with 3 tails measuring between 10 and 30 millimeters in length was spotted in the Methohija region of Kosovo. The adult lizard is the first known of its species and is one of the few triple-tailed lizards to have been discovered worldwide.

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It’s probable that the three tails are anomaly in the lizard’s self-amputation process. Normally species would shed their tails to evade predatory attacks regenerating a replacement tail with cartilage.

Tree tail lizard
Image courtesy: DANIEL JABLONSKI(taken from)

Previous studies of multi-tailed lizards (although still rare, two-tailed lizard are discovered more often) suggest that extra tails appear when the original tale is not fully removed or is partially detached. It’s likely that the base of the spine was crushed separating the vertebra resulting in a new tail growing from each separation. The different colors and patterns on the skin by the possible fracture support that the theory that the lizard lost its original tail completely.

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According to Bill Bateman, a Curtin University biologist, this discovery is significant because “the original tail has been lost, rather than being damaged and retained.” He went on to say that the triple tailed lizard is ““pretty dramatic, as all three tails look like they have generated from a stump, and all of them look quite big.” He compares the Kosovo lizard to the triple tailed anole lizards he saw in the U.S. that had “very short and undeveloped ‘tail-lets'” accompanying the original tail.

Tripple Tailed Lizard
Image courtesy: DANIEL JABLONSKI(taken from)

Having 3 or even 2 tails can effect a specimens balance or create other disabilities, but according to the study the Kosovo lizard was in proper condition. Bateman doubt that having extra tails could effect the lizard’s health in anyway and considers them to be “pretty incredible.”

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