Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

Limbs sacrificed to escape predators: crabs

The claw and other limbs of a crab assist escape because they can be shed and regenerated.

"In some invertebrates, autotomy can involve the loss of one or more legs. Crabs, for instance, are famous for sacrificing a claw if attacked by a predator, which they will then regrow. Indeed, they are willing to lose several of their limbs if necessary to avoid capture, though this willingness decreases markedly with each successive limb loss, for obvious reasons." (Shuker 2001:132)
About the inspiring organism

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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Materials or systems that can "shed" some function under stress, possibly as a signal of deterioration, while retaining basic functionality; shedding materials once they have served their purpose; understanding the biochemistry of regeneration.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Materials science, construction, medical

Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
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