Or should that be – a moving tail. Our cats hunt anything from mice, insects, birds, snakes and, today, a lizard. We think it was a Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus).
The lizard was rescued but its tail – jettisoned like a street robber dropping an emptied purse – continued a brief existence.
Having not thought much about the word before, ‘autonomy’ is from the Greek auto (self) and tome (severing) – or self-amputation.
As Wikipedia states: Some geckos captured by the tail will shed part of the tail structure and thus be able to flee. The detached tail will continue to wriggle, creating a deceptive sense of continued struggle and distracting the predator’s attention from the fleeing prey animal. The animal can partially regenerate its tail, typically over a period of weeks.
Our cat Tinkerbell left the lizard to return to the tail, four metres away. 1-0 to the lizard – but talk about a crash diet in losing weight…
And to prove it isn’t just lizards’ tails:
© con jamón spain