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Autotomy is the ability of some species of animals to self-amputate parts of their bodies (e.g. tail or leg) as a means of self-defense. Some reptiles and amphibians do this. So do some species of octopi and sea slugs. And some species have the amazing ability to regrow the discarded limb.

But recently this ability has been discovered in two species of sea slugs – and they bring it to a whole new level. A LiveScience.com article described two Sacoglossan sea slugs (Elysia marginata and Elysia atroviridis) which for reasons yet unknown “self-decapitate.”  That’s right. This sea slug will detach itself from its head and continue to live “headless” for a period of days to months. Eventually, however it will die.

The detached head, however, will not die. It will continue to live and feed. But that’s not all. From the wound where it was severed from its body it will regenerate an entirely new body. This is the most extreme form of autotomy and regeneration known to science.

Now, this article was not entirely clear on who detached from who – probably because it’s not yet known. Sometimes the article described the process as a self-decapitation as if the body acted against the head. And sometimes it spoke as though the head were discarding its body.

What are the reasons for doing this? The article only speculated that it could occur if the animal were threatened, attacked, or that either the head or body were infected with a parasite. But one thing is clear – the head lives on and grows a new body, but the headless body eventually dies. The head will even use photosynthesis (from the chloroplasts it gets from eating algae) to gain energy to regenerate a new body.

You know, this phenomenon is analogous to something that’s going on in the church today. I keep reading of cases in which Christian believers and many ministers are detaching themselves from the head of the church, Jesus Christ. The apostles warned us that this would happen in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1).

The reasons for this apostasy are varied. In his day, Paul the apostle referred to those in the church who “severed themselves from Christ” by turning back to the Law as a means of making themselves righteous in God’s sight (Galatians 5:4). He also spoke of some who had “lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow” (Colossians 2:19). They did this by turning from Christ to worship angels.

But today’s apostasy stems mostly from discrediting the Scripture and denying its inerrancy. This is especially true when the Bible speaks against moral perversion and the breakdown of marriage and the family. The Bible and Jesus are simply not “progressive” enough for Christians who look to this world – rather than to Christ – for approval, acceptance, and validation.

But we should never seek this world’s approval and acceptance. For friendship with the world is hostility towards God (James 4:4). That’s why we are told not to love this world (1 John 2:15-17). If we seek this world’s approval and acceptance, we’ll have to decapitate ourselves from Jesus. Jesus will live on and reign without us. But we will surely perish without Him.

Jesus said that if we are ashamed of Him and His words in this evil and adulterous world, He will be ashamed of us when He comes in the glory of His Father and all the angels with Him (Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26). Therefore, suffer this world’s reproach for Jesus’ sake. Then your reward in heaven will be very great (Matthew 5:10-12).


PRAYER:  Dear Lord Jesus, open my eyes to Your love for me and to all that You suffered for my sake. Bring those horrific scenes of cross before me again and again, lest I lose sight of Your love and neglect it. Keep me faithful, Lord Jesus, to You until death, I pray. Amen.


(Information from: https://www.livescience.com/decapitated-sea-slugs-regrow-entire-body.html)

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