Many creatures can lose an appendage and not die. A starfish can lose a leg, or 3, and regenerate it. Even the arm can become a new starfish. I did not know spiders could regrow a leg! We know sharks continually lose and replace teeth (evidenced by this summer along my coast). Planaria– those cellular things we looked at under a microscope in high school biology –can create an entire new creature from each piece cut away from the original. And the one we all know, lizards (geckos, anoles, etc.) can grow a new tail if all or part breaks off.

One of these latter found its way on my sun porch. I was on the phone and my rescue dog Lily was close behind me. It was up on the screen and it took a minute to realize it was on the inside. Probably would have been fine, minding its own business but knowing Lily’s capabilities and appetite for the new and different I thought it would be better off if I caught it and took it outside.


First, do you know how hard it is to actually lay hands on one of these? Then when you have it the little thing wriggles out of your (however light so as to not squeeze it to death) grasp till all you have is its tail, which it breaks off by swaying rapidly back and forth. Maybe it does this intentionally. Lily made quick work of the still-wriggling tail while I tried to gently capture it again. Success, opening the door, placed hand on the rail by the steps and it wouldn’t jump off. No matter how many ways I turned my hand it trotted back up my wrist as though that which would save it (anywhere off my arm/hand) was more of a danger than I. Flattering but not my intention for the little thing. Lily caught on to what was happening and raced by me to place her massive open jaws underneath my hand should he misstep and fall into them. He saw this and jumped off to the safety of the brickwork that is my house.


I imagine he will have quite a tale to tell all his friends.


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