What is Bio-mimicry?

Basically it is the study/ examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to mimic specific advances to improve and or solve human problems.The main idea of biomimicry is that nature has already created so many creative characteristics. Humans simply take the idea and make it more practical it has solved problems with energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more. [1]

All animals, plants and microbes alike are consumable engineers. They have all found ways to make their lives easier, they know what works and to survive on Earth. Instead of harvesting or domesticating a plant or animal like other approaches of biology, bio-mimicry consults with the organism and it's habitat. This allows a whole new and different approach to learning about nature to contribute creative designs and solutions to human problems but also to conserve biodiversity of planet Earth.

This burr inspired what velcro is today. Flexible smal hooks attaching to fluffy surface.
This burr inspired what velcro is today. Flexible smal hooks attaching to fluffy surface.


An example of early bio-mimicry was the study of birds to be able to fly. Leonardo da Vinci the first of many never created a 'flying machine' but was a very keen observer in the flight and anatomy of birds. He made many sketches and observations of flying machines inspired by birds. The Wright brothers were the first to create a successful flying machine in 1903 who derived their flying machine from a pigeon.
More recently bio-mimicry has determined an economic potential. The San Diego Zoo had started bio-mimicry programs in 2007 and have commissioned an Economic Impact Study saying that bio-mimicry would have a $300 billion annual impact on the US economy, plus an additional $50 billion in reversing the damage of the environment.[2]

Early airplane inspired by birds wings.
Early airplane inspired by birds wings.

Process of Bio-Mimicry

The colour of a butterfly's wings can be made into many different types of objects.
The colour of a butterfly's wings can be made into many different types of objects.

If we want to emulate natures brilliance we have to look at it differently, outside the box. Scientists use a process called model, measure and mentor.[3]

MODEL- Biomimicry is the study of nature and the emulation of its genius to fix human problems. The first step that scientists take is to model the specific plant or animal natural characteristic.

MEASURE- Next scientists judge whether or not the innovation is sustainable to become apart of human society. After so many years nature has figured out what works and what does not. We just to have to figure out whether it can be implemented properly into society.

MENTOR- The final step is to learn from nature not from what we can extract from it

Examples of Bio-Mimicry

Many different models of biomimicry,
Many different models of biomimicry,

  • the flexibility of octopus arms are used in new robotics designs
  • flight of bees provide examples of greater flight life, control and pitch
  • spider webbing is biological marvel it is trying to emulated in ropes and cables
  • self cleaning plastics found in plants
  • whale power wind turbines,whale fins are the inspiration of huge wind turbines
  • design of cockroaches are a role model in robot design
  • hard calcium carbonate shells of molluscs copied in bullet proof armour
  • sea-sponges are studied in an effort to produce light yet sturdy materials.

Sustainable Ideas from Nature

Future of Bio-Mimicry

The wave of thinking has changed forever and for the better, in the present it has solved human problems in the future it is hoped to solve problems that may arise when
we become even more technologically advanced. Nature is being used as the teacher rather then a container or alterer. It has become the new major step forward in shaping the future for the better. [5]
Meerkats have dark hair around eyes to protect from sun.
Meerkats have dark hair around eyes to protect from sun.

The future is closer then it appears there are many examples of this it is our job to try and apply all forms of nature into solving human problems. An example of this is in architecture is the Eastgate Building in Zimbabwe which has inspired to have a ventilation system similar to termite mound. The building has no air conditioning but stays cool despite having drastic temperature change through ought the day. A future example is Volvo's 2020 concept car, it is said to be accident free inspired from the migrating locusts. Bio-mimicry is hoped to be a major part for solving humans greatest problems, to improve human life but to also create a stronger relationship with the environment. [6]


Bio-mimicry will slowly become the major leader in sciences because it deals with the environment so much, in this time preserving our environment will become priority number 1 and we will need to learn from what it can do. Nature has been here longer then we have so it knows what works and what does not, it has adapted to human activities and have given us a lot. In the present there have been so many different problems we have solved from animals and plants like using the shape of whale fins for wind turbines which could become a major form of energy in the future. For the future bio-mimicry will be able to solve even bigger problems like increasing efficiency and reducing electricity consumption and creating even more jobs, it will create more opportunities to learn and make life as we know it better.


  1. ^ http://www.asknature.org/article/view/what_is_biomimicry
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomimicry
  3. ^ http://biomimicryinstitute.org/about-us/what-is-biomimicry.html
  4. ^ http://creationwiki.org/Biomimicry
  5. ^ http://blogs.sandiegozoo.org/2011/07/26/biomimicry-hope-for-the-future/
  6. ^ http://www.trenddesk.com/en/biomimicry-for-the-future.html