(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 ?
UCI has been a highly innovative partner for Coursera as we've developed the model for Specializations over the past year and a half," said Daphne Koller, President and Co-founder of Coursera.
We're pleased to be acknowledged by Cisco with the renewal of our Master Security Specialization," said Jerry McIntosh, vice president of advanced technology solutions for ePlus Technology.
The 2009 CACREP standards set 600 hours of internship as the standard for all CACREP accredited specializations.
Julie Thompson Klein's (1990) ambitious and synoptic overview of this very complex set of problems provides some hope that some of the better-known disadvantages of specialization may yet be overcome.
The time had passed when one mind could master all knowledge; and, inversely, the increasing specialization needed to deal with the bulk and diversity of new knowledge tended to fragment understanding into poorly related parts.
The Tax Specialization Task Force has proposed a model tax specialty program based on a broad general tax specialty.
The specialties identified by the Institute's specialization accreditation board represent dynamic aspects of our practices, from business valuation to computer consulting, from financial forecasting to estate taxation.
These include: (1) the lack of an accepted definition of rehabilitation counseling (Jellinek, 1982); (2) a lack of uniformity in training programs (Jellinek and Lynch, 1983; (3) varied titles, expectations, and job settings (Jellinek and Lynch, 1983); and, (4) an emphasis on specialization (Wright, 1984).
The specialization is the result of a rigorous evaluation process in which CDW demonstrated master-level capabilities in designing, deploying and supporting data center cloud-ready infrastructure, as well as an established record of success implementing the technology for its customers.
AP Specializations are a global credential for international higher education and are designed to expand access to academic programs from the world's best universities to large numbers of global students.
Master's Specialization: Master's of Science with specializations in Environmental Economics, Development and Trade, Ag Economics, and Community Economics
NASM's Behavior Change Specialization allows CPTs to implement individual behavior change strategies based on their client's unique drivers and influencers.