Mosaic Evolution

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mosaic evolution

[mō¦zā·ik ‚ev·ə′lü·shən]
The tendency of one or more characters to undergo evolutionary change at different rates than other characters in a lineage.

Mosaic Evolution


a form of evolution in which the organs and parts of an organism’s body develop independently and unevenly: some develop rapidly, others develop slowly, and others remain unchanged for a long time. The term “mosaic evolution” was proposed by the British scientist G. De Beer in 1954. The result of mosaic evolution is a varying degree of development and specialization of different organs—heterobathism. Mosaic evolution characterizes the development of specialized forms in which both primitive and advanced features are observed. To some extent, mosaic evolution is characteristic of organisms of any group.

References in periodicals archive ?
"What appears to be going on is mosaic evolution," Bromage observes.