The Gross Anatomy of the Original and Regenerated Tail in the Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Terrence B. Ritzman, Laura K. Stroik, Emily Julik, Elizabeth D. Hutchins, Eris Lasku, Dale F. Denardo, Jeanne Wilson-Rawls, J. Alan Rawls, Kenro Kusumi, Rebecca E. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This study investigates the gross anatomy of the original and the regenerated tail in the green anole (Anolis carolinensis). Dissections were conducted on 24 original and 13 regenerated tails. While the extrinsic muscles of the original tail in A. carolinensis are similar to those in other known Anolis lizard species, the extent of the origins of m. caudofemoralis longus and m. caudofemoralis brevis is more restricted. These differences may underlie variation in locomotor performance among anole ecomorphs. The intrinsic muscles of the original tail are also described, confirming previous findings and documenting new details, including muscle origins and insertions and the range of intraspecific variation. A comparison of the intrinsic muscles of the original tail and the regenerated tail muscles reveals key differences, such as the lack of interdigitating muscle segments and intramuscular septa in the regenerated tail. These findings, along with the replacement of interlocking vertebrae with a stiff, cartilaginous rod, suggest that important functional differences exist between the original and regenerated tail. In particular, the regenerated tail is predicted to be less capable of coordinated, fine movements. Studies of the physical properties and range of motion of the original and regenerated tail are required to test this hypothesis. This atlas of tail anatomy in A. carolinensis represents a key resource for developmental and genetic studies of tail regeneration in lizards, as well as studies of anole evolution and biomechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1596-1608
Number of pages13
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Anolis carolinensis
  • Autotomy
  • Myology
  • Regeneration
  • Tail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Histology


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