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exaptation

[eg-zap-tey-shuh n, ek-sap-] /ˌɛg zæpˈteɪ ʃən, ˌɛk sæp-/
noun, Biology
1.
a process in which a feature acquires a function that was not acquired through natural selection.
2.
a feature having a function for which it was not originally adapted or selected.
3.
a morphological or physiological feature that predisposes an organism to adapt to a different environment or lifestyle.
4.
predisposition toward adaptation.
Related forms
exapted, adjective
exaptive [eg-zap-tiv, ig-, ek-sap-] /ɛgˈzæp tɪv, ɪg-, ɛkˈsæp-/ (Show IPA), adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for exaptation
  • It may turn out that fine hair of humans in relation to those bugs is no more that exaptation.
  • It's an example of what evolutionary biologists call exaptation: borrowing an old body part for a new job.

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