Scientists were stunned as they discovered sea spiders have the ability to grow new sex organs as well as an anus.
While experts were already aware that arthropods can regrow legs, a new study has found the creatures surprisingly possess regenerative powers which extend to their entire bottom halves.
Professor Gerhard Scholtz, the lead researcher behind the breakthrough, said: "Nobody had expected this".
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Various arthropods, which are invertebrates with no internal skeleton or backbone, are capable of re-growing legs such as the likes of centipedes and crabs.
Scholtz spoke to Sky News in more detail about the discovery his team has made.
He said: "If you look at the animal kingdom, the capability of regeneration differs very much in various groups of animals.
"Flatworms, for example, can regenerate their whole body from a limited amount of tissue, on the other hand, us – mammals – cannot regenerate much – liver, tissue, skin, but apart from that very little.
"For arthropods – crustaceans, insects, myriapods, and types of spider – it was entirely unknown that they could regenerate body parts other than limbs."
The study has since been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, and saw the hind limbs and backends of 23 sea spiders amputated, with 16 of them regenerating at least one lost body part.
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Professor Scholtz, of Humboldt University of Berlin's Institute for Biology, said the findings should encourage further research into the space.
He said: "One has to look to other arthropods and whether they can do the same."
Scholtz is already planning further research by reproducing his study with insects and crabs with further hopes that the research could become an option for human treatment, especially amputees.
"I don't think the sea spiders will play a crucial role, but who knows? The more you know about regeneration in the animal kingdom, the better you might be able to use it for medical treatment."
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