One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The retention of juvenile features in the adult animal.Also called paedomorphosis
- ‘Among early codiacrinids adaptive forms evolved initially through both neoteny and progenesis.’
- ‘This is a classic example of an evolutionary phenomenon known as neoteny - the retention of larval or juvenile features in mature adults.’
- ‘In fact Neo, as he has been named, suffers from a condition known as neoteny, where juvenile characteristics, like gills, are retained into adulthood.’
- ‘This combination of characters is best interpreted as evolution through neoteny.’
- ‘Some species (for example, the axolotl) display neoteny - that is, the larval features persist into sexual maturity.’
- 1.1 The sexual maturity of an animal while it is still in a mainly larval state, as in the axolotl.Also called paedogenesis
- ‘Facultative neoteny also occurs in some species of true salamanders.’
- ‘The acquisition of sexual maturity by an animal while still in the larval stage is a process that goes under the name neoteny.’
Late 19th century: from German Neotenie, from Greek neos ‘new’ (in the sense ‘juvenile’) + teinein ‘extend’.
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