The African spiny mouse has something like a superpower--it can re-grow its own skin.
Research published in the journal Nature found that not only does the tail of the African spiny mouse rip off if it’s tugged – a handy survival trait for a mouse in the wild, but also that the ripped skin grows back.
After further tests on the mouse, scientists found that its skin, like human skin, is in one continuous sheet and tears very easily. In fact, it takes 77 percent less energy to tear the skin of the African spiny mouse than the common house mouse. After it has been torn, the skin repairs itself in less than 30 days, hair follicles and all.
Scientists found a distinct difference in the healing processes between these mice and most other mammals, including humans. When humans are cut, the body goes through a modest but incomplete regeneration that leaves scar tissue. The spiny mice, though, go through a process called re-epithelialization, in which new skin cells replace the lost skin cells. These new cells also re-establish communication between the skin and the functions beneath the skin, and that restores hair follicles and pigmentation.