Adaptive Value of Regenerative Ability

Abstract

THE view that the distribution of regenerative ability among and within animals is not correlated with the incidence of loss or damage to their organs, and so with survival value, rests very heavily on the work of Morgan1 on the hermit crab, Eupagurus longicarpus. He concluded that the regenerative ability of its various appendages was not correlated with their liability to loss : in particular, the last two pereiopods (thoracic walking legs) and the abdominal appendages, all of which are protected inside the host shell and are rarely lost, regenerate well. He also found that limbs regenerate not only at their autotomy plane, classically regarded as an adaptation to facilitate both escape and regeneration, but also when amputated proximally or distally to the plane. Recent work2,3 has tended to confirm in some detail the neo-Darwinian view that regenerative ability is correlated with its utility, as measured by the incidence of natural losses. However, since considerable emphasis has again4 been placed on Morgan's conclusions, it seems worth re-examining his results in the light of a survey made a few years ago (August 1955) on E. bernhardus.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Morgan, T. H., Zool. Bull., 1, 287 (1898); Anat. Anz., 17, 1 (1900).

  2. 2

    Needham, A. E., Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 123, 111 (1953).

  3. 3

    Tufail, M., Ph. D. thesis, University of Exeter (1960).

  4. 4

    Vorontzova, M. A., and Liosner, L. D., A sexual Propagation and Regeneration (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1960).

  5. 5

    Needham, A. E., J. Exp. Biol, 24, 220 (1947).

  6. 6

    Needham, A. E., Quart. J. Micro. Sci., 84, 47 (1942).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

NEEDHAM, A. Adaptive Value of Regenerative Ability. Nature 191, 720–721 (1961). https://doi.org/10.1038/191720a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.