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The spontaneous casting off of a limb or other body part, such as the tail of certain lizards or the claw of a lobster, especially when the organism is injured or under attack.

au′to·tom′ic (ô′tə-tŏm′ĭk), au′tot′o·mous adj.
au·tot′o·mize′ v.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.autotomic - of or relating to autotomyautotomic - of or relating to autotomy    
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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Evidence that ampicillin and streptomycin can suppress autotomic behaviour in ratstKR[LJAK ELENA* and STAJ^I] Z**Acta Veterinaria (Beograd).
Besides its autotomic characteristic, the tail has an important role in the natural history of this species.
Greer (1989) says that tail loss in geckonids is mainly at the base (the first five non autotomic vertebrae are followed by vertebrae that are autotomic), although it can also be broken at different parts.