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Human skin performs several vital functions, including barrier protection, proprioception, heat regulation, and immune system modulation. It also has the ability to regenerate when damaged, but often slowly and at the cost of scarring. Across the animal kingdom, skin has evolved to perform similar functions in multiple different ways. The African spiny mouse, in particular, has developed the ability for autotomization—a process of self-amputating damaged or trapped body parts—as a means of escaping predation. While it is common in amphibians and reptiles, it is rarely seen in mammals.1
Xue Y, Cohen JM, Tsiaras WG. Skin Autotomization and Regeneration—The African Spiny Mouse. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(11):1199. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.2434
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