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 (prē′ăd-ăp-tā′shən, -əp-)
1. A characteristic of an ancestral species or population that serves an adaptive though different function in a descendant species or population.
2. The ability of a characteristic to assume a new biological function without evolutionary modification.


(Biology) biology the possession by a species or other group of characteristics that may favour survival in a changed environment, such as the limblike fins of crossopterygian fishes, which are preadaptation to terrestrial life


(ˌpri æd əpˈteɪ ʃən)

Biol. a structure or property that develops in an ancestral stock and becomes useful in a descendant in a changed environment.
pre`a•dapt′ (-əˈdæpt) v.i.
pre`a•dap′tive, adj.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Many of these disjunct species groups share common characteristics (Raven, 1963) that function as preadaptations favoring establishment.
Processus de socialisation et preadaptations comportamentales chez les araignees.
Evans considers the cognitive preadaptations that may have paved the way for the emergence of semantic knowledge.
These species do not seem to have evolved to the environments inhabited by humans, rather these species had several preadaptations that allowed them to thrive in habitats disturbed by human activity (Passera, 1994).
The genesis of many of these metazoan-specific gene classes may have provided the molecular preadaptations that enabled the evolution of metazoan development and multicellularity.
Processes de socialisation et preadaptations comportementales chez les araignees.
It also seems probable that these preadaptations were found mainly among the organisms occurring in habitats similar to the hypogeal habitat.
Such behaviors are preadaptations, as they are done deliberately to effect an anticipated outcome.
For example, Armbruster submits that adaptation to one selective pressure (herbivores and microbes) may have created preadaptations in plants for new relationships with pollinators.