Found recently in Kosovo, the unusual reptile is among only a handful of three-tailed vertebrates known to science, a new study says.

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If the ability of some animals to regrow lost tails isn’t weird enough, a lizard has been found with three new tails in the place of one.

Spotted in June in the Metohija region of Kosovo, the adult blue-throated keeled lizard (Algyroides nigropunctatus) had tails that measured 30, 15, and 10 millimeters in length.

The freak individual, besides being a first known in the species, is among only a handful of triple-tailed lizards documented worldwide, according to its co-discoverer Daniel Jablonski, a biologist at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Two-tailed specimens are more often seen—though are still relatively rare.

The blue-throated keeled lizard's three tails likely grew after its original tail was completely lost. | Daniel Jablonski
The blue-throated keeled lizard’s three tails likely grew after its original tail was completely lost. | Daniel Jablonski

“I have been studying reptiles for a long time and examined hundreds or maybe thousands of specimens, but this was my very first” three-tailed lizard, he said via email.

(via National Geographic)

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