The reflex action by which a leg, claw, tail, etc., as of a lobster, starfish, or lizard, is broken off at a special joint when the part is damaged, seized, etc.: the missing part then regenerates.
Webster's New World
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.
American Heritage Medicine
(chiefly zoology) The spontaneous removal of a limb, tail etc, especially by some invertebrates as a self-defense mechanism.
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