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Related to neoteny: pedomorphism, paedomorphism


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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(nɪˈɒtənɪ) or


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(niˈɒt n i)

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


the capacity or state of becoming sexually mature in the larval stage. — neotenous, adj.
See also: Insects
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Brain image and tissue section analyses indicated an altered pattern of neural cell differentiation, resulting in a delayed neuronal maturation and neural fiber myelination of the transgenic monkeys, similar to the known evolutionary change of developmental delay (neoteny) in humans."
Also participating in the funding round was London Venture Partners (LVP).Other investors in the round include MTG, Century Game, Joi Ito's fund, Neoteny 4; and prominent angel investors in games.
These pieces of evidence are suggestive of a form of neoteny in the female brain, (assuming male brains as the baseline, which is something scientists do), but no one had looked at metabolism -- how the brain runs on glucose -- until now.
Further, the persistence of juvenile traits into adulthood has been found to not only readily elicit helping behavior from others towards those adults who display juvenile traits, known in ethological circles as neoteny (Keating et al.
In my paper on the occurrence of protracted juvenilism (paedomorphosis; neoteny of some authors), I described the patterns seen in rosette trees, rosette shrubs, succulents, and various annuals and perennials (Carlquist, 1962).
(16.) See e.g., Zdravko Petanjek, Judas Milos, et al., Extraordinary Neoteny of Synaptic Spines in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, 108 PNAS 13281 (2011).
But the differences in neoteny are critical, as they also determine significant developmental differences between our species and chimpanzees, including the development of the neocortex (see Miller, et al., 2012), which is associated with categorical and goal oriented reasoning and attention.
A commonly used salamander species, Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), has lifelong lasting neoteny and does not undergo metamorphosis naturally.
Especially relevant to his view of Bildung, the latter two processes result in the retention of juvenile features in adulthood--a phenomenon known as neoteny (or paedomorphosis), which, despite its suggestion of regression, was believed to enable an evolutionary "escap[e] from the blind alleys of specialization, into a new period of plasticity and adaptive radiation" (J.
Not dissimilar to tropes of advertising, choreography of faces emphasizes neoteny and cuteness, giving a grip to encounters to elicit desired emotional responses.
Precocious reproductive development (neoteny) by larvae of a primitive termite Zootermopsis angusticollis (Hagen).
While phobia of spiders may be genetically predisposed, people are also predisposed to prefer animals exhibiting neoteny (Estren, 2012).