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  • Strategy

Rolling locomotion used for hilly terrain: Mount Lyell salamander

The body of the Mount Lyell salamander is protected from impacts by acting rubbery.

"On the steep slopes of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Mount Lyell salamander achieves a similar rock 'n' roll lifestyle. When disturbed, or when it needs to descend, the amphibian curls its head under its back legs, wraps its tail along its body, and tucks its legs in. It not only looks like a black tire, it behaves like one. Rolling over and over, it bowls down any slope with ease, its rubbery body absorbing the impact of bounces." (Downer 2002:23)
About the inspiring organism
Mount Lyell Salamander
Hydromantes platycephalus (Camp, 1916)
Common name: Mount lyell salamander

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Shock-absorbing materials, folding.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Transport, manufacturing

Downer, J. 2002. Weird Nature: An Astonishing Exploration of Nature's Strangest Behavior. Ontario: Firefly Books.
Learn More at Google Scholar Google Scholar  


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