The ability to regenerate organs is common in the animal kingdom , and even among chordates you can find organ-regenerating animals, such as the gecko, that can grow a new tail.
But not entire body systems. Here we find a chordate that can regenerate all its organs even if it is separated into three parts .
The new species of sea squirt of the species Polycarpa mytiligera , described by researchers at Tel Aviv University , is a creature from the Red Sea that belongs to the Chordata phylum, animals with a dorsal cord, which also includes humans.
Previous studies have shown that this species is capable of regenerating its digestive system and its entry and exit points within a few days. But, in order to see if it is capable of renewing all its body systems, they dissected several dozen sea squirts into three fragments , leaving a part of the body without a nerve center, heart and part of the digestive system.
Not only did each part survive the dissection on its own, all the organs regenerated in each of the three sections. That is, instead of one sea squirt, there were now three . According to Tal Gordon, whose doctoral thesis included this new research:
By all accounts, the sea squirt is a simple organism, with two openings in its body: an entrance and an exit. Inside the body there is a central organ that resembles a pasta strainer. Sea squirts suck water through the body’s entry point, the strainer filters food particles left in the body, and clean water exits the exit point. Among invertebrates, they are considered to be the closest to humans from an evolutionary point of view.