neoteny

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ne·ot·e·ny

 (nē-ŏt′n-ē)
n.
1. The retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species, as among certain amphibians. Also called pedomorphism, pedomorphosis.
2. The attainment of sexual maturity and subsequent reproduction by an organism still in its larval stage. Also called pedogenesis2.

[New Latin neotenia : neo- + Greek teinein, ten-, to extend; see tenesmus.]

ne′o·ten′ic (nē′ə-tĕn′ĭk, -tē′nĭk), ne·ot′e·nous (-ŏt′n-əs) adj.

neoteny

(nɪˈɒtənɪ) or

neoteinia

n
(Zoology) the persistence of larval or fetal features in the adult form of an animal. For example, the adult axolotl, a salamander, retains larval external gills. See also paedogenesis
[C19: from New Latin neotenia, from Greek neo- + teinein to stretch]
neotenic, neˈotenous adj

ne•ot•e•ny

(niˈɒt n i)

n.
1. the production of offspring by an organism in its larval or juvenile form; the elimination of the adult phase of the life cycle.
2. the retention in adulthood of a feature or features that appeared in an earlier phase in the life cycle of ancestral individuals.
[1900–05; < New Latin neotēnia < Greek neo- neo- + teín(ein) to stretch + -ia -y3]
ne•ot′e•nous, adj.

neoteny

the capacity or state of becoming sexually mature in the larval stage. — neotenous, adj.
See also: Insects
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.neoteny - an evolutionary trend to be born earlier so that development is cut off at an earlier stage and juvenile characteristics are retained in adults of the species
evolutionary trend - a general direction of evolutionary change
References in periodicals archive ?
Neotonous behaviors such as play got dragged along with [other] neotonous morphological characters that enable us to have big heads and stand upright" (22).
Humans and dogs, for instance, have small noses or snouts throughout much of early life, an example of a neotonous developmental trait that humans, at least, perceive as cute.