Biomimicry


Animals and nature have clearly proven that throughout the years that they are clearly able to adapt and live in their environments, if they couldn't then they wouldn't be around. And while humans have also adapted (and changed the environment to suit them), inspiration is around every corner. This is known as Biomimicry, taking inspiration from nature to create new and useful products/ideas to help mankind for the best. An introductory video explaining the ideas of Biomimicry may help out here:
Introduction
1
Example 1
2
Example 2
3
Glossary
4
Mini-Quiz
5



Example 1

Now to delve right into the real world examples of biomimicry. I'm sure that many people are familiar with at least one example of biomimicry, Velcro!
external image Velcro.jpg
Velcro was patented and sold in 1955 by Swiss inventor George de Mestral. He came up with the idea in 1948 when taking his dog for a walk.1 Noticing the burs on his dog's fur, he took him home and studied the bur under a microscope until he found the hook and loop system of burs.1 His initial idea, was met with laughter and resistance however now it is a multi-million dollar industry.

Example 2

Another example of Biomimicry is the sharkskin suit.
external image 912-2.jpg
This Technology was designed to make swimmers in the Olympics mover faster in the water.2 Because a shark has dermal denticles or, small teeth, arranged in "sawtooth" patterns covering the skin, it creates a smoother flowing of water over the shark, believed to make it glide through the water faster.2According to the website, "Each denticle has tiny raised ridges, or riblets, believed to dampen turbulence in the layer of water immediately next to the skin."2




Glossary

Denticles - small teeth found on the bodies of sharks
Riblets - Raised ridges


Mini-Quiz

1 Name two real world examples of biomimicry found in the article
Velcro, sharkskin suits

2 Is is possible for nature to prooduce its own biomimicry?
No as the biomimicry is already copying nature for man-made ideas/technologies

3 What was the inspiration for velcro?
burs, specifically the ones found on George de Mestral's dog

4 Name two examples found in the video
Abalone shell- bullet proof vests, spider silk Kevlar




1. Bellis MD. The Invention of VELCRO ® - George de Mestral. [serial on the Internet]. 2010 [cited 2012 Jun 14]. Available from: http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091297.htm
2. Conner SC. Sharkskin swimsuits lead hi-tech bid for Olympic gold. [homepage on the Internet]. 2000 [cited 2012 Jun 15]. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/sharkskin-swimsuits-lead-hitech-bid-for-olympic-gold-724371.html