10 classic biomimicry examples

In Wired's "Think Like a Tree" biomimicry video series, Biomimicry 3.8 co-founder Janine Benyus demonstrates what's possible when we look to nature for technologies, strategies, and design ideas.  Through this set of awesome biomimicry examples, Janine talks us through how looking to nature can help us solve major global crises like drought and climate change. 

Whether you're new to biomimicry or a long time follower, this video series offers a great synopsis of classic biomimicry examples to watch and share. 

1 | How Namibian desert beetles can help us solve our drought problems

Namib desert beetles live in an area with little ground water, so how is it that they have no trouble finding H2O? Find out how the resourceful insects use their wing scales to absorb water droplets from fog, and how we can use them as a model for combating water shortages.


2 | How coral reefs can help us manage our little carbon problem (ahem)

Most people think of carbon dioxide as a poison, but in nature it’s a building block. Find out how we can imitate coral reef by using CO2 as a raw material for the creation of concrete.


3 | Mimicking shark skin to fight against bacteria

Scientists are looking to an unlikely source for new ways to fight bacteria. Could the skin of a Galapagos shark hold the key to warding off hospital-born bacteria and superbugs?


4 | Did you know the Eiffel Tower was inspired by a femur?

Find out how human bones inspired the Eiffel Tower through the design principle of structural hierarchy.


 5 & 6 | How a dog inspired velcro and a bat inspired radar

Two in one! We're already living with biomimicry technologies - velcro and radar!


7 | How moth eyes inspired the camera lens

Find out how camera lenses take after moths by mimicking the way they absorb and hold in light. 


8 | How mussels are helping us take toxins out of glue

Your new kitchen cabinets might contain a glue in them that was inspired by mussels. Explore the chemistry that mussels use when attaching to boats and find out how that science is being imitated to develop strong adhesives that don’t rely on toxic formaldehyde. 


9 | The genius of humpback whales and their fins

One’s in the water and one’s in the air, but they share one thing in common: both are trying to reduce drag along their surfaces. Find out why scientists are studying humpback whales as they look to create more efficient wind turbines.


10 | What termites can teach architects about climate control

Sure, they’re pesky critters but termites can teach architects a thing or two when it comes smart architectural design. When creating giant mounds, the insects build channels within them to help with ventilation. See how architects are attempting to replicate that process to create better climate control systems in the built environment. 


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