14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry

By Amelia Hennighausen and Eric Roston - 2013-08-19T12:01:13Z

Photographs by Scott Camazine; Custom Medical Stock Photo

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After a hunting trip in the Alps in 1941, Swiss engineer George de Mestral’s dog was covered in burdock burrs. Mestral put one under his microscope and discovered a simple design of hooks that nimbly attached to fur and socks.

After years of experimentation, he invented Velcro — and earned U.S. Patent 2,717,437 in October 1952. Benyus said it is probably the best-known and most commercially successful instance of biomimicry.

A Dumb Question about biomimicry.

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