Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the earliest known inventors that looked to nature for design inspiration. He studied the flight of birds and the wings of bats to draft plans for his infamous flying machine. This design approach is biomimicry, which finds solutions for human challenges from the sustainable systems and patterns of nature. Biologists, engineers, and designers have been creating sustainable designs mimicking the natural world for many years. While many beautiful species of flora and fauna have been replicated, not every source of inspiration is picturesque. This New Atlas article takes a look at some of the strangest, yet highly-evolved fauna that has inspired science and technology. The pangolin, the clingfish, and the horseshoe bat are not all that pretty like butterflies and lotus leaves, but their bodies are remarkably efficient. So the old “don’t judge a book by its cover” lesson definitely comes into play with biomimicry.
Design for Flying Machine, by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519), via Wikimedia Commons