Lizard tail autotomy is an antipredator strategy consisting of sturdy attachment at regular times but quick detachment during need. We propose a biomimetic fracture model of lizard tail autotomy using multiscale hierarchical structures. The structures consist of uniformly distributed micropillars with nanoporous tops, which recapitulate the high-density mushroom-shaped microstructures found on the lizard tail’s muscle fracture plane. The biomimetic experiments showed adhesion enhancement when combining nanoporous interfacial surfaces with flexible micropillars in tensile and peel modes. The fracture modeling identified micro- and nanostructure-based toughening mechanisms as the critical factor. Under wet conditions, capillarity-assisted energy dissipation pertaining to liquid-filled microgaps and nanopores further increased the adhesion performance. This research presents insights on lizard tail autotomy and provides new biomimetic ideas to solve adhesion problems.
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