Salamander Limb Regeneration
This animation shows how salamanders can replace missing limb tissues with the help of cells similar to stem cells.
Salamanders can regenerate fully functional limbs in response to amputation. The animation illustrates what happens when a salamander’s leg is cut off. After the wound heals, a mass of undifferentiated cells forms at the site of the cut. These cells differentiate to produce all the specialized tissues of the limb, including muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels.
This animation is a clip from a 2006 Holiday Lecture Series, Potent Biology: Stem Cells, Cloning, and Regeneration. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different features or steps in the regeneration process.