A visual representation of the taxonomy of functions used to organize Strategies and Innovations on Ask Nature.

The Biomimicry Taxonomy is a classification system developed by the Biomimicry Institute to organize information on the website Ask Nature. The taxonomy categorizes the different ways that organisms and natural systems meet functional challenges into groups of related functions.

Use the taxonomy diagram to help you or your students navigate Ask Nature or  as a tool to support “thinking functionally” and identifying questions to “ask” nature when beginning a design challenge.

biomimicry taxonomy diagram
Image: Biomimicry Institute / Copyright © - All rights reserved

The Biomimicry Taxonomy depicts a hierarchy of increasingly specific groups, sub‑groups, and individual functions.

The US letter-size Taxonomy diagram is printable in both color and greyscale. It can be downloaded either alone, or with a 2-page explainer that describes what it is and how it can be used.