How ZooLab’s Animals Have Changed the World!
Updated: May 4, 2022
It comes as no surprise to hear that animals play a central role in our society. Whether by
pollinating crops, providing us with meat, giving us companionship or strengthening natural
ecosystems - they are essential to our way of life.
Going beyond simply giving us food and comfort, animals have also played an additional -but perhaps less appreciated - role in shaping human culture. By taking note of the way their
anatomy and behaviour has evolved in response to their natural environment, scientists and
engineers have long used nature as inspiration to solve our own technological problems.
Known in modern times as the process of ‘Biomimicry’, it has given us everything from the
aerodynamic shape of the Japanese bullet train (a kingfisher’s beak) to the stickiness of
Velcro (the pointy hooks on burr-seeds) to the anti-bacterial film used to coat the hulls of
U.S. Navy ships (shark skin).
Countless species have provided biomimetic insight, including many members of the ZooLab team! Inspired by ZooLab’s very own ‘Biomimetics & Amazing Adaptations’ workshop, available for Key Stage 3 & 4 , let us take a look at some of the ways our animal colleagues have shaped the world around us, or how they might continue to do so in the future.