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hypermorphosisHypermorphose (ger.)

  • The opposite of paedomorphosis, hence the extension of life beyond the adult phase of relatives by means of adding further development phases. (HWB)

    A character which is present or makes its appearance in the adult stage of an ancestor may in the ontogeny of a descendant appear […] In the same stage, which is no longer adult, the new adult stage being relatively delayed, resulting in ‘overstepping’ the previous ontogenies of hypermorphosis.

    de Beer, G.R. (1930). Embryology and Evolution: 38-9; id. (1940/58). Embryos and Ancestors: 36.


    In the evolutionary speculations of the last century hypermorphosis played an important part. The descendant was supposed to go through all the stages of its ancestor, and a final stage in addition.

    Haldane, J.B.S. (1932). The time of action of genes, and its bearing on some evolutionary problems. Amer. Nat. 66, 5-24: 19.


    hypermorphosis The phyletic extension of ontogeny beyond its ancestral termination, so that adult ancestral stages become preadult stages of descendants.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 121.