Birgid Schlindwein's

Hypermedia Glossary Of Genetic Terms

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Homoplasy Appearance of similar structures in organisms not inherited from a common ancestor or developed from a common anlage. Indication for the universal mechanisms of evolution
The term includes convergence, parallelism, and reversal.
Related Terms:
Anlage Embryonic primordium from which a specific part of the organism develops. The rudimentary basis of an organ in an embryo.
Evolution In Darwinian terms a gradual change in phenotypic frequencies in a population that results in individuals with improved reproductive success.
Convergence The evolutionary development of similar external morphological traits in organisms which are unrelated (except through distant ancestors) as each adapts to a similar way of life and/or environment.
Sharks (fish), dolphins (mammals), and ichthyosaurs (extinct reptiles) provide good examples of convergent adaptation to the aquatic habitat.
Parallelism Occurence of the same of similar structures independently evolved in two or more lineages, that may be but must not be related to another.
Reversal Resemblance between two taxa because one of them has evolved a new character, then lost it again, and the other taxon has never evolved it.

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Programming: Herbert Maier
Database: Birgid Schlindwein. Please contact me if you encounter any mistakes or if you are missing anything
© Dr. Birgid B. Schlindwein
last update of the database 10/01/2006