Key Difference – Autotomy vs Regeneration
Autotomy and Regeneration are two processes shown by certain living organisms. The key difference between Autotomy and Regeneration is that during autotomy body parts are removed or shed from the body while in regeneration, removed body parts are replaced or developed into a new organism.
Autotomy refers to the process in which one or more body parts are shed or removed from the organisms’ body in order to escape from a predator. It is a type of self-defence mechanism. Regeneration is the process of developing a new organism from an amputated body part or replacing removed body parts.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Autotomy
3. What is Regeneration
4. Similarities Between Autotomy and Regeneration
5. Side by Side Comparison – Autotomy vs Regeneration in Tabular Form
What is Autotomy?
Autotomy (also known as self-amputation) is a behaviour that shows by certain animals as a self-defence mechanism. The ability of an animal to shed or casting off a one or more of its body parts to avoid the threat of a predator is known as autotomy. The best example that describes autotomy is the voluntary severance of the tail by a lizard when it is caught by a predator. Autotomy is used by animals to elude a predator’s grasp or distract the predator to escape from the threat.
Autotomy is found in spiders, salamanders, and certain worms. The discarding part can be regenerated in some organisms. The term Autotomy was originally introduced by Frederick in 1892. Autotomy is dependent on several factors such as environmental factors, individual factors, and species-specific characteristics.
What is Regeneration?
Regeneration is the process where removed body parts of an organism have the ability to develop into a new organism. It is different from reproduction. However, regeneration is regulated by asexual means.
Regeneration ability is shown mainly by many invertebrates such as Planaria, Hydra, Starfish, etc. And also reptiles, amphibians, and some crayfish also show regeneration abilities. In other terms, regeneration can be defined as the process of replacing lost or amputated body parts. This ability differs between organisms.
What are the Similarities Between Autotomy and Regeneration?
- In both Autotomy and Regeneration, a body part is separated from the body.
- Both are important for certain organisms for survival.
- Both are seen in many invertebrates.
- Both are energetically expensive processes.
What is the Difference Between Autotomy and Regeneration?
Autonomy vs Regeneration
|Autotomy is a self-defence mechanism in which one or more body parts are shed from the body in order to escape from the predator.||Regeneration is the ability to replace the removed body parts or developing into a new organism.|
|During autotomy, body parts are released or separated from the body.||During regeneration, removed body parts are replaced.|
|Autotomy is not a development process.||Regeneration is a development process.|
|Autotomy is an anti-predation strategy.||Regeneration is not an anti-predation strategy.|
|The best example of autonomy is the self-severance of the lizard tail when caught to a predator.||Human skin replaces lost died cells by new cells and it is an example for regeneration and also the regeneration of planarian is the best example.|
Summary – Autotomy vs Regeneration
Autotomy is a behaviour shown by certain organisms as a self-defence mechanism. It refers to the process of shedding a body part or parts in order of escape from a predator. Released body parts can be regenerated or not. Regeneration is the replacing or restoring the removed body parts. And also regeneration refers to the process of developing a new organism from the removed body part. This is the difference between autonomy and regeneration.
1.Goss, Richard Johnson. “Regeneration.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 22 Aug. 2016. Available here
2.“Autotomy.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Apr. 2018. Available here