Relict(redirected from Relictual taxa)
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Relict(rel -ikt) A Soviet space mission launched in 1983 that made the first measurement of dipole anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background radiation.
an animal or plant species that exists in a given country or region as a remnant of the flora and fauna of past geological ages and that in some way is anomalous with regard to present-day conditions of existence. Relicts are identified by their ties to the plant and animal world of past ages or to definite types of vegetation. Thus, species that have been preserved without visible changes at least since the Pliocene are called Tertiary or, more correctly, Neogenic relicts.
In Colchis there are a number of remnant tree species (wing nut, zelkova, chestnut) and evergreen shrubs. The ironwood is a relict in the Talysh Mountains, and the muskrat is a relict in the Volga and Ural basins. Forest relicts in the arctic are species that advanced far to the north during the warm interglacial age and stayed there surrounded by tundra (twinflower, whortleberry, certain wintergreens). Glacial relicts are plants and animals that have survived from the ice age on a given territory.
Plant and animal species that have been preserved only in certain sectors of formerly large ranges and in this sense resemble relicts are called pseudorelicts.
A. I. TOLMACHEV