noun[mass noun] Zoology
The casting off of a part of the body (e.g. the tail of a lizard) by an animal under threat.
- 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.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: au|tot¦omy
Definition of autotomy in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.