protect from floods
Nature’s refined solutions, mapped to your design challenges.
Pheromone sends long-range signallamprey
Special glands in male sea lamprey gills release a bile that acts as a sex pheromone to attract long-distance females.
Gut microbes break down wood cellulosegalatheid crab
Microbes in the gut of the galatheid crab produce enzymes that digest wood cellulose, allowing the crab to subsist almost exclusively on a wood-based diet.
Squirting toxins protect from predatorspussmoth caterpillar
Tail filaments of Puss Moth caterpillars protect from predators by squirting formic acid.
View all Biological Strategies
Design solutions to human challenges, inspired by biological strategies.
Seal Blade low drag airfoilVirtual Interchange for Nature-Inspired Exploration, NASA Glenn Research Center (Vikram Shyam, Adam Wroblewski, Philip Poinsatte, Christopher Snyder), The Ohio State University (Ali Ameri), US Army Research Laboratory (Douglas Thurman )
Undulations in the 3D profile of turbine blades reduce drag.
Water-repellent ship coatingsNees Institute of Biodiversity of Plants, University of Bonn
Structural design repels water
Thermally-tintable glass, Thermally dynamic walls
View all Inspired Ideas
Everything you need to learn and teach about biomimicry and life centered design.
Nature-Based Solutions in Urban DesignTNC Nature Works Everywhere
This lesson guides high school students to identify sustainability challenges facing cities, discover the ecosystem services, and propose an urban design project that incorporates nature-based solutions.
The Importance of Biological InteractionsTNC Nature Works Everywhere
Biological interactions are all around us, both in the natural world and within our human society. This lesson helps students recognize different types of biological interactions, with a focus on coral reefs.
Ecology Pocket GuideIn Site
A quick reference guide for designers, architects, and engineers in pursuit of ecologically integrated design.
View all Resources
Themed clusters of strategies, ideas, and resources, curated by you.
How might we transport people and goods more effectively?
A growing collection of content created by our talented and dedicated AskNature volunteers
Creatures of Sanibel Island
What can we learn from creatures that call Sanibel Island home?
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How might we …
Here are a few Biological Strategies to get you started …
Photosynthesis converts solar energy into chemical energyplants
Photosynthesis in plants converts solar energy into chemical energy using electrons and protons from water.
Pupil enables clear vision in extreme light conditionsTokay Gecko, ,
The pupil of nocturnal geckos enables clear vision in extreme light conditions by becoming very large at night and constricting to a thin slit with several pinholes during the day.
Hairy legs manipulate sticky web strandsSpinybacked orbweaver, Golden Silk Orbweaver
Leg hairs of orb-weaver spiders enable sticky web manipulation by reducing contact area.
From permaculture to Velcro® to winglets, humans have been looking to nature for inspiration for as long as we’ve been inventing. Inspired Ideas catalog the stories behind realized and conceptual product, service, and system components that have their roots in biology …
The Land Institute permacultureThe Land Institute
Perennial grain cropping mimics natural ecosystem behavior.
Concentrated solar plantMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Optimal arrangement of solar array mirrors based on Fibonacci spirals.
Anti-icing coating prevents frost and ice buildupRykaczewski Research Group, Arizona State University
Coating infused with antifreeze reduces frost and ice accumulation
Interest in biomimicry has skyrocketed over the past decade, and there are now thousands of Resources—including books, articles, videos, lesson plans, groups, training programs, and more—available to folks who want to learn, teach, and practice this valuable problem solving approach. Get started with a few of our favorites here …
Sharing Biomimicry with Young PeopleBiomimicry Institute
An orientation to biomimicry for K-12 teachers and others who work with youth.
The world is poorly designed. But copying nature helps.Vox and 99% Invisible
This 6 minute video introduces biomimicry, the application of biomimicry at different scales, and connections to the circular economy.
Biomimicry Basics: How to Innovate Using Nature’s StrategiesDenise DeLuca
In this 4-hour online course you will learn a step by step method for turning nature's strategies into innovative design solutions using the biomimicry design spiral.
Collections tie together Biological Strategies, Inspired Ideas, and Resources into themes that are often correlated with a particular human challenge, geographic area, or set of environmental conditions. Check out a few of our favorites and then start your own …
Chemistry of Nature
How can we learn from nature to create materials without using life-threatening chemicals and high temperatures?
Solving for a changing climate
The science is clear, and so is our imperative. What can we learn from nature as we design solutions for mitigating, adapting to, and reversing climate change?
Cooling Down In The Heat
From sweating, to panting, to pulling water from air, living systems rely on a number of forms and processes to stay cool and hydrated.
“Nature is constantly innovating, endlessly experimenting and ever reinventing itself in the face of new challenges.
From materials and products to business models, biomimicry offers a fresh lens for all the dreamers and doers remaking the man-made world.”