Definitions for vestigial structure

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word vestigial structure

Wiktionary

  1. vestigial structure(Noun)

    A structure in an organism that has lost all or most of its original function in the course of evolution, such as human appendixes.

Freebase

  1. Vestigiality

    Vestigiality refers to genetically determined structures or attributes that have apparently lost most or all of their ancestral function in a given species, but have been retained through evolution. Assessment of the vestigiality must generally rely on comparison with homologous features in related species. The emergence of vestigiality occurs by normal evolutionary processes, typically by loss of function of a feature that is no longer subject to positive selection pressures when it loses its value in a changing environment. More urgently the feature may be selected against when its function becomes definitely harmful. Typical examples of both types occur in the loss of flying capability in island-dwelling species.

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"vestigial structure." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/vestigial structure>.

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