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Exaptation

  • Definition: Evolutionary cooption of an organisrnal or molecular character for a biological role unrelated to the character's evolutionary origin. Bird feathers are considered an exaptation for flight because they originated prior to avian flight but provided utility for flight following its origin.

    Source: Hickman, C.P., et al. 2011. Integrated Principles of Zoology. Fifteenth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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