recapitulation defined in 1951 yearrecapitulation - recapitulation;
recapitulation - Occurrence in the embryonic development of an individual, of stages repeating the structure of ancestral adult forms, successively later embryonic stages corresponding to successively more recent ancestors. Hence 'ontogeny repeats phylogeny' (though in condensed form, and with special embryonic adaptations). E.g. the gill-slits of an embryo bird repeat the gill slits of its fish ancestors. Though historically important, recapitulation in this sense is largely discredited now; but it is probably true that the earlier embryonic stages of an organism resemble the corresponding embryonic stages of its ancestors, more than do the later stages, and recapitulation of ancestral embryonic characters, in this sense, occurs. Thus the gill slits of a bird embryo resemble the embryonic gill slits of its fish ancestors, the developmental mechanism for this region of the body having changed relatively little in the course of evolution.
near recapitulation in Knolik
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