Definition of preadaptation in English:



  • 1An adaptation which serves a different purpose from the one for which it evolved.

    • ‘This represents an important preadaptation for a social parasite to gain reproductive dominance in host colonies.’
    • ‘The authors speculate that the fusion of polar bodies in the RKK might be a preadaptation to automictic parthenogenesis through central fusion.’
    • ‘If one changes between different function and effect it becomes meaningless to claim that the former was a preadaptation to the latter.’
    • ‘He suggested that avian ancestors must have incorporated functional preadaptations for flight, yet rejects characters uniting theropods and birds based on grounds of functional similarity.’
    • ‘He then lists a number of likely cognitive, social and physiological preadaptations that would need to be in place that would enable, but not squeeze out, language.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun] The process by which a preadaptation arises.
      • ‘That complex scenario, involving endothermy and preadaptations, has no name as yet.’
      • ‘He goes on to legitimise the notion of preadaptation, and how these might accumulate until the last piece in the mosaic could be put in place and circumstances become such that an evolutionary shift is made possible.’
      • ‘Such a practice may have allowed preadaptation of the starting clone to the 25° environment.’
      • ‘Also they saw this as a contribution to the solution of the problem of preadaptation.’
      • ‘The model could be extended to cover factors such as the level of preadaptation by studying their effect on the parameter.’