Plesiomorphic traits

- A trait is understood to refer to any structure, function or behavior that occurs in various species in at least two different forms. From an evolutionary standpoint, the individual forms of a certain traits are not equivalent; one of them, the plesiomorphic form, for short plesiomorphy, is evolutionarily older in the particular phylogenetic line and the other forms were formed secondarily all at once or in a certain order as a consequence of anagenetic changes in the original form of the trait. These evolutionarily derived forms are termed apomorphic forms, abbreviated apomorphies.

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more