autotomic /aw'teuh tom"ik/, autotomous, adj.
/aw tot"euh mee/, n., pl. autotomies.
1. Zool.
a. separation of a body part.
b. self-amputation of a damaged or trapped appendage.
2. the performance of surgery upon oneself.
[1895-1900; AUTO-1 + -TOMY]

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also called  Self-amputation,  

      the ability of certain animals to release part of the body that has been grasped by an external agent. A notable example is found among lizards that break off the tail when it is seized by a predator. The phenomenon is found also among certain worms, salamanders, and spiders. The cast-off part is sometimes regenerated.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Autotomy — (from the Greek auto = self and tomy = severing ) or self amputation is the act whereby an animal severs one or more of its own appendages, [The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.] usually as a self… …   Wikipedia

  • autotomy — n. 1. spontaneous removal or casting off of a body part (as the tail of a lizard or claw or a lobster) especially when the organism is injured or under attack. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • autotomy — [ô tät′əmē] n. [ AUTO + TOMY] the reflex action by which a leg, claw, tail, etc., as of a lobster, starfish, or lizard, is broken off at a special joint when the part is damaged, seized, etc.: the missing part then regenerates autotomic [ôt΄ə… …   English World dictionary

  • autotomy — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1897 reflex separation of a part (as an appendage) from the body ; division of the body into two or more pieces • autotomous adjective • autotomize verb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • autotomy — n. [Gr. autos, self; tome, a cutting] The act of reflex self mutilation of a part or appendage of various invertebrates, i.e., annelids, cnidarians, crustaceans and insects …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • autotomy — noun spontaneous removal of a limb, tail etc, especially by some invertebrates as a self defense mechanism …   Wiktionary

  • autotomy — The act of casting off a body part as a means of escape; e.g., the limb of a crab or the tail of a lizard. [auto + G. tome, a cutting] * * * au·tot·o·my ȯ tät ə mē n, pl mies reflex separation of a part from the body esp. in an invertebrate …   Medical dictionary

  • autotomy — The voluntary shedding of a limb by snapping it off the base [Ingle, 1983] …   Crustacea glossary

  • autotomy — n. (Zoology) discarding of a damaged or trapped part of body (as in a lizard s tail) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • autotomy — [ɔ: tɒtəmi] noun Zoology the casting off of a part of the body (e.g. the tail of a lizard) by an animal under threat …   English new terms dictionary

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