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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
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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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
autotomythe 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