apomorphy

play
noun ap·o·mor·phy \ ˈa-pə-ˌmȯr-fē \

Definition of apomorphy

plural apomorphies
biological taxonomy
:a specialized trait or character that is unique to a group or species :a character state (such as the presence of feathers) not present in an ancestral form
  • In this case, white flowers are a derived condition, an apomorphy, and red flowers are the ancestral condition.
  • —James D. MausethBotany: An Introduction to Plant Biology2009

apomorphic

play \¦a-pə-¦mȯr-fik\ or less commonly apomorph play \ˈa-pə-ˌmȯrf\ adjective
    • As far as possible, it is assumed that each apomorphic evolutionary event only occurred once in the history of each group of related taxa …
    • —C. Barry Cox and Peter D. MooreBiogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach2010
    • … such apomorph characters are believed to be found only among the descendants of the ancestor in which the character first occurred.
    • —Ernst MayrThe Growth of Biological Thought1982

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Origin and Etymology of apomorphy

apomorphic or apomorphous (borrowed from German apomorph, from apo- “away from,apo-” + -morph “having such a structure,-morphous) +2-y


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