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mosaic evolutionMosaikevolution (ger.)

  • Evolution in which different characteristics and structures of an organism evolve at different rates. (OED)

    If now it be asked which kind of transition is shown by Archaeopteryx, the answer is perfectly clear. It is a mosaic in which some characters are perfectly reptilian, and others no less perfectly avian. […] the transition from reptiles to birds was characterized by what I propose to call mosaic evolution

    De Beer G. (1954). Archaeopteryx and evolution. Advancem. Sci. 42, 160-70: 163; cf. id. (1954). Archaeopteryx lithographica.

    There is not a steady and harmonious change of all parts of the »type«, as envisioned by the school of idealistic morphology, but rather a »mosaic evolution«. Every evolutionary type is a mosaic of primitive and advanced characters, of general and specialized features.
    Mayr, E. (1963). Animal Species and Evolution: 598.

    mosaic evolution The change of different adaptive structures, traits or other components of the phenotype at different times or at different rates in an evolutionary sequence; non-harmonious character transformation.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 160.