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recapitulation of phylogeny


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A theory, due to E. H. Haeckel, asserting that ontogeny (the development of the individual) recapitulates or reflects the phylogeny (the evolutionary history of the individual). The theory as such has been rejected as not of general applicability, von Baer's ‘biogenetic law’ being sufficient explanation for the observations on which it was based. However, either hypermorphosis, acceleration, or predisplacement can result in individual cases of recapitulation.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Earth Sciences and Geography.


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