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.

Other Words from preadaptation

preadapted \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 \ˌprē-ə-ˈdap-tiv \ adjective
preadaptive structures

First Known Use of preadaptation

1958, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of preadaptation was in 1958

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