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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) In biology, a type of evolutionary process similar to progress. The term was proposed in 1866 by the American paleontologist A. Hyatt to designate the initial stage in the development of large taxonomic groups in the organic world. Characteristic of this stage are the origination of a new type of organization and the flourishing of the group. In 1947 the Austrian biologist B. Rensch used the term “anagenesis” to designate the appearance of new organs and the improvement of structural types in the course of the evolution of large groups of organisms. He contrasted anagenesis with the process of the ramification of the phylogenetic trunk on one level. Anagenesis is characterized by a complexification of organs, by the improvement of their functioning, and by the autonomization of development. Thus, anagenesis is close to aromorphosis.

(2) The process of the regeneration of tissues. (The term is rarely used.)


Matveev, B. S. “Znachenie vozzrenii A. N. Severtsova na uchenie o progresse i regresse v evoliutsii zhivotnykh dlya sovremennoi biologii.” In Severtsov, A. N. Glavnye napravleniia evoliutsion-nogo protsessa, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Boulding (1978) defined the emergence of a new level of hierarchy as the process of anagenesis.(6) For a level to maintain itself once it has emerged has been strongly argued to depend on autopoiesis (Varela, Maturana, and Uribe 1974), or a process of self-replication.
A family of curved paths is then derived from the proposed dynamical system to explain how proliferation patterns of product species in divergence (cladogenesis), development (anagenesis), differentiation (adaptive radiation), mature (stasigenesis) and demise (extinction) emerge.
He pointed out examples of so-called living fossils (e.g., horseshoe crabs, the coelacanth Latimeria, and crocodiles) that seem to have undergone very little evolution compared with their relatives, and of "high-rate lines" (e.g., humans, elephants, mammals in general) that have undergone rapid anagenesis. Simpson wrote (1944, p.
Changes in natural evolution involve the development of locally adapted populations (anagenesis, adaptation), and occasionally it results in new, reproductively isolated populations (cladogenesis, speciation; Rensch, 1959; Stuessy, 1990).