Definition of autotomy in English:


Line breaks: au|tot¦omy
Pronunciation: /ɔːˈtɒtəmi


[mass noun] Zoology
  • The casting off of a part of the body (e.g. the tail of a lizard) by an animal under threat.
    More example sentences
    • The characteristics that best predicted autotomy - smaller body size or female gender - also correlated with a lower escape rate by the alternative escape tactic, struggling and pinching the predator.
    • Through a process called autotomy, muscles can contract violently along the base of an appendage, breaking off the limb.
    • I could not assess at what point during the predation encounters the lizards employed autotomy.

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