four pale green eggs with dark brown spots rest in a nest of grass
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It's time to ask nature.

How does nature ...
produce color?

Humanity faces many challenges. Nature holds
solutions. To discover them, all we have to do is
ask. Begin your search here, or explore featured
content below to learn from other species'
successful strategies and adaptations.

Collections

Nature is more than the sum of its parts. Explore the connections between individual biological strategies, innovations, or educational resources as leading thinkers, scientists, artists, and others reflect on unifying themes in biomimicry.

Youth Design Challenge Gallery

Working with groups made me feel like I made an impact on the world. Youth Design Challenge Participant

The 2023-2024 Youth Design Challenge is here! Once again, students around the world will learn to use biomimicry to address some of the biggest environmental challenges we face. Learn more and view winners' projects from 2018 to the present.  

How Does Nature
Teach and Learn?

Whether it is tool use among chimpanzees or song practice among zebra finches, the process of perfecting the craft lies in diligent practice. Karuna Skariah Educator

Education isn't just about memorization, but practicing into mastery. Looking to other species, we see that long-term success is all about incorporating new knowledge into your very being.

For Educators

The world of the future will be designed by the students of today. AskNature has tools to help educators bring biomimicry into the classroom for a single day or for a whole school year.

Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge

Biomimicry Institute

A free, hands-on, project-based learning experience and competition in which students work in teams to explore the wonders of the natural world and apply what they learn to create innovations that support a healthier planet. 

Looking skyward through a bamboo forest

Biological Strategy Printables

Biomimicry Institute

If you need an offline version of AskNature's content, these pages have you covered.

Students examine a plant specimen in lab classroom

Introducing Biomimicry in High School

Biomimicry Institute

This collection of activities provides a high school level introduction to the concept of biomimicry, along with instruction to support student use of the resources on the AskNature website to apply biomimicry to any design challenge.

Biomimicry: Nature as Model, Measure, and Mentor

Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education

In this three-part lesson students explore what nature can teach us about the principles of sustainable design and reflect on applications to a problem in their home, school, or community.

Biological Strategies

We've curated more than 1700 strategies of living beings that can serve as inspiration for human innovation. Whatever challenge you're looking to address, nature can serve as your model, measure, and mentor.

Innovations

AskNature’s innovation database makes it easy to explore hundreds of products and design solutions inspired by nature's genius and the workings of living organisms.

Living System:

Whales and dolphins

Keyword:

Trees

Function:

Prevent Fatigue

When materials that comprise living systems are subjected to repeated loads, they can weaken over time. This is called fatigue and it can lead to cracks and eventually failure. However, fatigue doesn’t occur just anywhere on a material; the cracks usually start in areas subjected to elevated local stresses. Therefore, living systems often employ shapes, materials, and/or smooth transitions to decrease the potential for fatigue. An example of using shape is found in brown algae, an intertidal seaweed. Rather than being bent by the constant flow forces of waves and currents, its shape causes it to be pulled. This reduces stress by roughly 800 times compared to another species that bends with the flow, ultimately reducing structural fatigue.

Top Pages So far for 2024

See what has been top of mind for AskNature visitors as the new year has taken off.

Term Definition

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