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Size and shape in ontogeny and phylogeny

  • Pere Alberch (a1), Stephen Jay Gould (a2), George F. Oster (a3) and David B. Wake (a1)

Abstract

We present a quantitative method for describing how heterochronic changes in ontogeny relate to phyletic trends. This is a step towards creating a unified view of developmental biology and evolutionary ecology in the study of morphological evolution. Using this representation, we obtain a greatly simplified and logical scheme of classification. We believe that this scheme will be particularly useful in studying the data of paleontology and comparative morphology and in the analysis of processes leading to adaptive radiation. We illustrate this scheme by examples drawn from the literature and our own work.

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