autapomorphy

play
noun au·tap·o·mor·phy \ȯ-ˈta-pə-ˌmȯr-fē\

Definition of autapomorphy

plural

autapomorphies

biological taxonomy

  1. :  a specialized character or trait that is unique to a monophyletic taxonomic group … An eversible penis is a synapomorphy that unites lizards and snakes in a common monophyletic group, the Squamata, but is an autapomorphy of the Squamata within a larger monophyletic assemblage. — Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes in Vertebrate Evolution, 1997 These species share key traits as autapomorphies of their clade—and since these traits help to construct the relevant environment, sufficient similarity becomes, in part, an active construction of related organisms, not only a happenstance of common externalities. — Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, 2002

autapomorphic

\ȯ-ˌta-pə-ˈmȯr-fik\ play less commonly

autapomorph

\ȯ-ˈta-pə-ˌmȯrf\ play adjective These features are not known for any Jurassic and Cretaceous mammals and are autapomorphic for this new mammalian lineage. — Zhe-Xi Luo and John R. Wible, Science, 1 Apr. 2005

autapomorphous

\ȯ-ˌta-pə-ˈmȯr-fəs\ play adjective The Chondrichthyes are a monophyletic clade and are principally distinguished on the basis of two unique autapomorphous character sets. — Eileen D. Grogan and Richard Lund, in Biology of Sharks and their Relatives, 2004

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Origin and Etymology of autapomorphy

autapomorph (borrowed from German, from aut- aut- + apomorph “apomorphic”) + 2-y — more at apomorphy


First Known Use: 1959


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