exaptation

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exaptation

(ĕg′zăp-tā′shən)
n. Biology
The utilization of a structure or feature for a function other than that for which it was developed through natural selection.

ex·ap′ted adj.
ex·ap′tive adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
The evolutionary inference, that the scyphozoan morphology was exceedingly well-adapted or exapted for predation on diverse taxa through geologic time, has been complemented by the taxonomic and ecological literature, which together describe modern scyphomedusan diversity as comprising relatively few, often widespread, trophic generalists (e.
32) For example, in certain species of birds, evolutionary evidence suggests that wings and feathers were adapted for insulation or for catching prey, and then later exapted for flying.
Prickly blade points probably exapted to the extremely hard and prickly acicular leaves typical of the southern terminal clade in relation to browsing and grazing by these newcomers, which appeared in combination with increased aridity.