Dictionary > Homoplasy

Homoplasy

Definition
noun
Similar biological trait acquired by species from different (unrelated) lineages
Supplement
There are species in which have similar, corresponding structures (e.g. organs, body parts, etc.) even without phyletic continuity. These species that belong to different taxa or lineages may exhibit homoplasy as a result of evolutionary convergence. These species may share a similar environment and responded to it through similar adaptive mechanism. An example is the wings of the bats corresponding to the wings of the birds. Both birds and bats use their wings for flight and yet they are from different lineages.
Word origin: Greek homós (one and the same) + plasis (a moulding)
Synonym(s):

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  • homology
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