The Mind-Blowing Superpowers of Regenerating Animals

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"You may be surprised to hear that humans are actually capable of some regrowth of damaged or missing organs"Click to Tweet! 

Who wouldn’t love to have the power to regenerate yourself like a superhero? It would definitely make life a lot easier and more interesting! While humans may not be able to replace limbs or heads at will, there are plenty of amazing animals that can regenerate parts of their body in seemingly crazy ways. The way the regeneration happens is different for each animal, but the consensus is that stem cells play a major part in the process. You may be surprised to hear that humans are actually capable of some regrowth of damaged or missing organs. For example, a liver damaged by disease can grow back to its original size—and skin is constantly being renewed and repaired. Not as impressive as:

  • Spiders re-growing missing legs

  • Sea cucumbers splitting into new beings when cut

  • Conches regenerating lost eyes

  • Zebra fish re-growing their tails

But these examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fantastic regeneration abilities of animals. Let’s take a look at some truly marvelous creatures, whose amazing feats will blow your mind—and may even leave you envious!

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"This amazing five (or more) armed echinoderms are famous for their abilities to regenerate limbs, and even their entire bodies."

The Sensational Sea Star

The sea star is otherwise known as starfish—but that name is misleading. This amazing five (or more) armed echinoderms are famous for their abilities to regenerate limbs, and even their entire bodies. How do they do it? It’s no big deal, they just keep most or all of their vital organs in their arms! That means a few species can grow a completely new sea star from a piece of severed limb. Some can even eat prey outside of their bodies, but’s that’s a different kind of amazing ability.

"these crazy cloners can generate a new head—and even new lives, if you dare to cut them into pieces."

The Fantastic Flatworm

We understand if it’s hard to get excited by worms, or planarians as they’re called by those in the know. But these crazy cloners can generate a new head—and even new lives, if you dare to cut them into pieces. Not only that, some species practice chemical warfare; they inspired a half-man, half-planarian comic hero; and their regenerative powers were noted by the likes of Darwin!

"When spiny mice are caught by predators, their strategy is to struggle until they lose strips of as much as 60% of their skin."

The Sneaky Spiny Mouse

Does slogging off your skin in self-defense sound appealing? Good thing you’re not this prickly little rodent. When spiny mice are caught by predators, their strategy is to struggle until they lose strips of as much as 60% of their skin. It’s not pretty, but scar-free generation of new skin happens unbelievably fast—in about three days. These guys are way tougher than they look!

"Its superpowers include regenerating its tail and limbs—and even part of its heart and brain. Researchers believe that studying axolotl could give insight into treating spinal cord and brain injuries in humans"

The Amazing Axolotl

You may know this cute little amphibian as a salamander. Its superpowers include regenerating its tail and limbs—and even part of its heart and brain. Researchers believe that studying axolotl could give insight into treating spinal cord and brain injuries in humans—or lead to new treatments for heart and liver surgery recovery, by preventing harmful scarringthat often occurs.

"Did you know that these already terrifying creatures can sport up to 3,000 chompers at any given time?"

The Grandiose Great White Shark

As if you didn’t have enough to worry about what it comes to sharks. Did you know that these already terrifying creatures can sport up to 3,000 chompers at any given time? There’s more good news—their sharp, serrated teeth never run out! That’s because there’s a backup tooth ready to replace each tooth, at any time. Remember that next time you take a dip in the ocean!


sources: eurostemcell.org/factsheet/regeneration-what-does-it-mean-and-how-does-it-work | howitworksdaily.com/how-do-animals-regenerate-limbs | factmonster.com/ipka/A0768606.html | treehugger.com/slideshows/natural-sciences/10-creatures-that-conveniently-grow-back-body-parts/page/6/#slide-top | animals.mom.me/marine-animal-can-regenerate-body-parts-3019.html | mentalfloss.com/article/63130/11-awesome-axolotl-facts | livescience.com/34513-how-salamanders-regenerate-lost-limbs.html | mentalfloss.com/article/61665/13-things-you-didnt-know-about-planarians | phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2012/09/26/spiny-mice-flaying-skin-healing-factor | animals.mom.me/can-sharks-regrow-teeth-11118.html
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