10 Creatures That Conveniently Grow Back Body Parts

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Break a leg, they say in show business. We can handle that. But humans, despite being the rulers of Earth, can't regenerate lost appendages. It seems that the more advanced the species, the less able they are to regrow legs, claws or heads. So break a head. It's up to us to stop, think and make sure these species stick around, even if they can grow back lost limbs. Unfortunately, so far, there doesn't seem to be a species that can grow back from extinction. Skinks are one example. They can't walk upright, but they can release their tail at will. If a predator tries to attack from behind, the tail detaches and keeps wiggling while the skink scurries away, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The skink can grow a new tail in three to four months. Alas, they are never "as colorful or elegant as the original," the agency says.

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Ah, the 1980s, when men pierced their ears like it was going out of style. And it was. Your earring holes may never have closed, but this mouse may hold the key to limb regeneration. Dubbed "the Miracle Mouse," this creature is the product of years of research by Ellen Heber-Katz, professor of immunology at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. The mouse can reportedly grow back amputated limbs or badly damaged organs, and its cells can pass on the traits to other mice. Heber-Katz made her discovery after noticing that identification holes punched into the ears of experimental mice healed without any apparent scarring, according to Boston University. photo via Wistar Institute

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If you have kids, you know this guy. The dumb one in Sponge Bob's underwater city Bikini Bottom. But when accidents happen, starfish have the ability to grow back two limbs. A starfish, more accurately called a "sea star," usually has about five arms, but some have have up to 40, according to ScienceRay.com. Some starfish can regenerate entire bodies, or new starfish just from a portion of a severed limb, in part because most of their vital organs are in their arms. photo via Flickr, Wildcat Dunny

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At the University of Maryland, biologist Alexa Bely cuts worms in half. Not just for fun, either. She's researching an ancient family of worms that long ago lost its regenerating abilities, reports ScienceNews.org. And trying to figure out what why some worms can sprout a new head and others can't. photo via University of Maryland.

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Imagine if there was a magic pixie dust that would allow us to regrow limbs? Well, let's start with fingertips. A collagen powder derived from pigs' bladders reportedly allowed a man to grow his fingertip back in just a month. The man, Lee Spievack, of Cincinnati, Ohio, accidentally sliced off his fingertip with a model airplane propeller. The dust was developed by Stephen Badylak of the University of Pittsburgh, who reportedly has been doing related regeneration research for the U.S. military. photo via Stephen Badylak

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Conch, pronounced "conk" are known for tasting good. You may not know they also can regenerate a lost eye, notes John N. Murphy, executive director at the McGowan Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who hosts Regenerative Medicine Today, a podcast. The eyes of a conch are on stalks. photo via Flickr, divemasterking2000

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When it comes to mammals, deer antlers are the only example of "a complete, anatomically complex appendage" that can be regrown, according to the Public Library of Science. Males grow antlers to compete with other males for mates and find food in the snow. They shed them once a year and grow them back, sometimes at a rate of up to 2 inches a day, says ehow.com. photo via Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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Crayfish can regrow their claws, just like lobsters. The regeneration usually takes one or more molts to complete. The claw grows back faster if the crayfish is younger, warmer and well fed, scientists say. When an animal molts, it sheds its hard outer skin or shell and replaces it with a new one, says Murphy, from the McGowan Institute. Kinda like a new year's resolution. photo via Carnegie Museum.

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The zebrafish can keep its stripes, and its tail. If the fish's fin gets bit off by, say, another hungry fish, the zebrafish can grow a new tail in about a week, according to University of Washington researchers. Which makes you wonder what the fish does in the meantime. The Washington researchers have discovered some of the genes that allow zebrafish to regrow their tail fins, which could one day help humans regrow damaged body parts. photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Salamanders are the gold standard when it comes to regrowing limbs, explains Scientific American. They can regrow perfect replacements for body parts throughout their lifetime. With some animals, regrown limbs aren't as good as the original ones. "They don't make 'em like they used to," as the saying goes. photo via U.S. Fish and Widlife Service