separation of a body part.
self-amputation of a damaged or trapped appendage.

the performance of surgery upon oneself.
Historical Examples

autotomy not only permits flight, but also defends the animal against the most adverse conditions.
The Human Side of Animals Royal Dixon

Such is the adaptive device—more reflex than reflective—which is called self-mutilation or autotomy.
The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4) J. Arthur Thomson

noun (pl) -mies
the casting off by an animal of a part of its body, to facilitate escape when attacked

autotomy au·tot·o·my (ô-tŏt’ə-mē)
The spontaneous casting off of a body part, especially of an invertebrate, when injured or under attack.


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