Definitions for vestigial structure
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word vestigial structure
A structure in an organism that has lost all or most of its original function in the course of evolution, such as human appendixes.
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.
Images & Illustrations of vestigial structure
Translations for vestigial structure
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
Get even more translations for vestigial structure »
Find a translation for the vestigial structure definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these vestigial structure definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"vestigial structure." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/vestigial structure>.