(redirected from specializations)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.





a direction of the evolutionary process that leads to the elaboration of maximum adaptations to life under environmental conditions less diverse than those that existed previously and to a decrease in competition with other species.

Specialization, one of the paths of evolutionary progress, is characterized by a narrowing of the adaptive zone and by intensified development of characters that ensure survival in that zone. Specialization makes it difficult to elaborate adaptations to changing conditions. As a result, a group that has embarked on the path of specialization usually evolves in the direction of further, even more narrow, specialization. With a sharp change in the environment, such a group cannot readjust itself and becomes extinct. However, with unchanging conditions, specialized species may exist without change throughout several geological periods (for example, Xiphosura and deepwater Brachiopoda).

The principal types of specialization are telomorphosis, hyper-morphosis, katamorphosis, and hypomorphosis. Telomorphosis, the most common form of specialization, is the narrow adaptation to specific conditions of existence, such as feeding (hummingbirds, sunbirds, anteaters) or habitat (sloths, moles, chameleons, marine iguanas). Hypermorphosis is the overdevelopment of certain organs (the upper canine teeth of the saber-tooth tiger, the tusks of mastodons) or an increase in overall body size (giant dinosaurs of the Mesozoic, mammals of the Tertiary period). Ka-tamorphosis, the secondary simplification of organization, results from a transfer to a sessile or parasitic life (ascidians, flatworms). Hypomorphosis is the underdevelopment of an organism as a result of neoteny (appendicularians, caudate amphibians).


Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Puti i zakonomernosti evoliutsionnogo protsessa. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.
Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Problemy darvinizma, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1969.
Timofeev-Resovskii, N. V., N. N. Vorontsov, and A. V. Iablokov. Kratkii ocherk teoriievoliutsii. Moscow, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
The other degree specializations allow students to specialize in managing an organization's database systems, network infrastructure, and computer security systems.
They include a Reading and Literacy specialization within Capella's Doctor of Education (EdD) degree program, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Science (MS) in Public Safety joint degree program, and nine new degree enrichment options designed to expand the educational and career opportunities of its students.
The Cisco Master Security Specialization recognizes an elite group of channel partners who have invested in the most in-depth technology skills and have demonstrated success in providing services for Ciscos value-added security solutions.
FEU Tech is innovating technology education in the Philippines by pioneering Business Analytics as a specialization in both Computer Science and Information Technology degrees.
Symantec continues to enhance specializations related to cloud computing as another tool to enable partners to become well-versed in as it becomes increasingly important to customers.
Symantec Specializations, which recognize partners with a proven expertise in a particular area of business, provide partners with the skills and experience required to deliver differentiated service to their customers.
The Cisco Master Security Specialization is designed to recognize resale channel partners who have taken the steps to be able to deliver a self-defending network consisting of integrated, collaborative, and adaptive security solutions and full lifecycle services," said Edison Peres, vice president and chief go-to-market officer for worldwide channels at Cisco.
The 2009 CACREP standards set 600 hours of internship as the standard for all CACREP accredited specializations.
First, the rise of specialization, with the concurrent eclipse of general knowledge, including the classical background.
This will be particularly true if the AICPA adopts the narrow definition of tax specialization, and even more so if that narrow definition includes industry tax specializations.
The AICPA board has asked its technical committees to take a more active role in recommending new specializations.