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Definition: Refers to the opportunities for morphological evolution conferred on an evolving lineage that possesses a "toolkit" of semiautonomous developmental modules that can be expressed at various stages of ontogeny and at multiple physical locations in the body. For example, evolution of tetrapod limbs featured ectopic expression of developmental genetic modules normally expressed in the vertebral column.
Source: Hickman, C.P., et al. 2011. Integrated Principles of Zoology. Fifteenth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.