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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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Hence, the cooccurences in eight families (Boidae, Colubridae, Elapidae, Typhlopidae, Viperidae, Anguidae, Iguanidae, and Scincidae) of egg guarding and viviparous species may relate to common causation rather than to one factor (egg guarding) preadapting a species for another (viviparity).