preadaptation

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pre·ad·ap·ta·tion

 (prē′ăd-ăp-tā′shən, -əp-)
n.
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.
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.

preadaptation

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

pre•ad•ap•ta•tion

(ˌpri æd əpˈteɪ ʃən)

n.
Biol. a structure or property that develops in an ancestral stock and becomes useful in a descendant in a changed environment.
[1885–90]
pre`a•dapt′ (-əˈdæpt) v.i.
pre`a•dap′tive, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Put simply, one who adapts may be seen as flexible; one who preadapts has foresight; and one who benefits by exaptation is merely lucky!
First, why do some elders (and not others) adapt or even preadapt to challenges to their nutritional well-being?