The ability to regenerate lost or amputated limbs varies greatly among amphibians. To gain a better understanding of phylogenetic and ontogenetic factors influencing regenerative ability, regeneration in tadpoles of Hymenochirus boettgeri is described for the first time, then compared to data from closely related Xenopus laevis. Hind limbs of tadpoles of H. boettgeri were amputated at two different levels along the proximo-distal axis of the limb (at the knee and ankle joints), at stages ranging from 52 to 59. Tadpoles were allowed to recover for 15 or 20 days, at which times the amount of regeneration was examined. Observations were made through external morphology and whole-mount histological staining. Hymenochirus, like X. laevis and indeed like most anurans, gradually loses the ability to regenerate hind-limb structures as it progresses through metamorphosis, and this loss occurs in a proximo-distal direction; the ability to regenerate is retained longer, distally. Hymenochirus and Xenopus show similar patterns of limb and digit regeneration. In both pipid species, loss of regenerative ability appears to be correlated with the onset of ossification in the hind limb, although timing of this event differs between the two species.
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