preadaptation

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

preadaptation An anatomical structure, physiological process, or behaviour pattern in an organism that is by chance highly suited to a new habitat to which the organism migrates or that improves the chance of the organism surviving a change in environmental conditions. For example, the lungs that developed in certain fish were probably originally a buoyancy aid before these fish began to adapt to a new environment on dry land. See also exaptation.