Homologous Organs


Also found in: Medical.

Homologous Organs

 

organs of animals or plants which have a common structural design, develop from similar embryonic rudiments, and perform similar (for example, tulip bulbs and potato tubers are modified shoots) or different (for example, a bird’s wing and a human arm) functions. Homologous organs in the same individual are called similar organs. They may be placed symmetrically along the axis of the body (for example, the anterior and posterior extremities of vertebrates, the extremities and mouth appendages of arthropods) or without any definite order (scales, feathers, hair, leaves).

References in periodicals archive ?
Consider the obstacles involved: The genes that initiate wing formation in a bird or insect may do nothing in a human (or may activate homologous organs, such as arms); these genes would have to be altered to allow a wingspan of some 20 feet; and the human's entire genome would have to be transformed to create the lighter bones and stronger muscles required for flight.