Letter | Published:

Application of the Principles of Phylembryogenesis to the Protista

Naturevolume 169page1019 (1952) | Download Citation



THE real relation between ontogeny and the adult stages of ancestors (phylogeny) in multicellular organisms (Metazoa and Metaphyta) is now firmly established in the sense that ontogeny is not an abbreviated or modified phylogeny, that is, the stages of development of an individual do not correspond to the adult forms of the ancestors, as was required by the so-called biogenetic law or theory of recapitulation propounded by Ernst Haeckel. All stages of ontogeny are subject to hereditary changes of evolutionary character. Moreover, the greater changes achieved in the early stages of ontogeny, resulting in pædomorphosis and neoteny, appear to be the most important from the point of view of large-scale evolution (macro-evolution). The changes brought about in later stages of ontogeny, resulting in geronto-morphosis, have an adaptive and specialized significance (Garstang, Sewertzoff, de Beer, Hadži).

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  1. Zoological Laboratory, University of Ljubljana, Yugoslavia

    • J. HADŽI


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