Scientists have found conclusive evidence that alligators, (from here forward I will be calling alligators “gators” for brevity) can regenerate their tails. For gators, tails are a massively important part of their ass because they use their tails to move through the water and balance (two incredibly important things for gators, I imagine.) The conclusive evidence was an actual gator tail, sent by mail, to biologist Kenro Kusumi at Arizona State University. It was placed in a pickle jar, which is another use for pickle jars that I hadn’t thought of before.
This is pretty huge news, not in the least because gators themselves are absolutely humongous. They are now the largest vertebrates we know of that can regenerate entire limbs, which in addition to being an incredible conversation starter for them, might actually be useful for us.
All animals, including good ol’ human beings, have some kind of biological regenerative ability. Truly, one of the coolest things about being alive is that our bodies are great at figuring out how to fix it when we destroy ourselves- I manage to get a paper cut every day, even in the digital age. But while humans are great at a ton of stuff, we cannot regenerate full limbs. It takes a lot of energy (literally, energy in your body) to regrow limbs and humans have to use that energy to do other things, like dancing.
It isn’t all good news for the gators, though. So far, the study at the University of Arizona only shows this regenerative ability in young gators. It proves what we’ve always been told- youth is wasted on young gators. It also looks like they are unable to regenerate bone or skeletal muscle, which is definitely a bummer, but the regeneration is still pretty impressive.
All of our asses, however, pale in comparison to the ass of an axolotl salamander.
Axolotl salamanders (for the sake of brevity I will be calling them Axel Sallys from here on out) can regenerate multiple vital bodily structures with identical precision. They can even regenerate parts of their heart, which is cool as hell and kind of poetically beautiful. In fact, Axel Sallys can regenerate full limbs in a matter of MONTHS. Pretty impressive! Take that, impressive people in Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 list.
The ass of a gator has always been superior to our own, and the tail isn’t even the half of it. Gator asses are covered in scales. But the ability to regenerate their tails is a feature that sets a gator’s ass far above the rest (certainly our own.) I, for one, am absolutely ecstatic for them and for us. Hopefully (and I personally have no doubt) science will be able to improve all of our asses well into the future.