preadaptation

noun pre·ad·ap·ta·tion \ ˌprē-ˌa-ˌdap-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of preadaptation

:a character or the condition of possessing a character that takes on a function when none previously existed or that differs from its original function :exaptation
  • This principle of evolution is sometimes called preadaptation. There's no foresight involved, though—simply the lucky coincidence that a feature that evolved to do one thing may turn out later to do another thing even better.
  • —Carl Zimmer
Note: While the newer term exaptation has been widely adopted, preadaptation continues to be acceptable in current usage with both terms showing comparable frequency of usage.

preadapted

play \ˌprē-ə-ˈdap-təd\ adjective
    • One hypothesis is that hot-blooded dinosaurs were clothed with feathers for insulation and were therefore preadapted for flight.
    • —Alan Feduccia

preadaptive

play \ˌprē-ə-ˈdap-tiv\ adjective
    • preadaptive structures

First Known Use of preadaptation

1958


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