autotomy

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au·tot·o·my

(aw-tot'ŏ-mē),
The act of casting off a body part as a means of escape; for example, the limb of a crab or the tail of a lizard.
[auto- + G. tomē, a cutting]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

autotomy

(ô-tŏt′ə-mē)
n.
The spontaneous casting off of a limb or other body part, such as the tail of certain lizards or the claw of a lobster, especially when the organism is injured or under attack.

au′to·tom′ic (ô′tə-tŏm′ĭk), au′tot′o·mous adj.
au·tot′o·mize′ v.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

autotomy

1. Fission of an organism, such as a bacterium or other cell.
2. Surgical removal of a part of one's own body.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

autotomy

the deliberate casting of part of the body when attacked, as when a lizard casts it tail.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
From these, one of the males was randomly selected (by drawing tokens from a cup) to have either the right or the left claw forcibly removed (manually declawed), or the male crab was induced to autotomize a claw.
Here we examine the relationship between body size and willingness to autotomize a leg in Orthoptera.
For instance, the crinoid Antedon mediterranea appears unable to autotomize internal organs.
In response to injury, decapod crustaceans autotomize walking legs and claws, which are regenerated before the next molt (reviewed in Skinner, 1985; Hopkins, 1993, 2001).
Leg muscle tissue was obtained by encouraging a crab to autotomize the second walking leg.
Finally, the expelled tubules autotomize at their attachment point on the left respiratory tree and are left behind as the holothuroid crawls away (Muller et al., 1970; VandenSpiegel and Jangoux, 1987).
Many animals possess the ability to self-amputate, or autotomize, an appendage in response to injury or its threat (Robinson et al., 1970; Medel et al., 1988; McCallum et al., 1989; Smith, 1995).