Producing Heterochrony

Ontogeny and Mechanisms of Change
  • Michael L. McKinney
  • Kenneth J. McNamara


The highly orchestrated cascade from which a complex individual is created from a single fertilized cell is perhaps the greatest wonder of Nature. Here is a self-directed process, wherein the building materials, the builders, and the supervisors are all produced and used at the correct time and place, in blatant circumvention of the most basic law of the universe: entropy, the second law of thermodynamics. Obviously, such a process must consist of a very tightly controlled sequence of nested causal processes. Yet the most intriguing aspect is the ease of creativity: the abundance of ways in which this process can be successfully perturbed to produce different, but viable, individuals (and thus evolution, after the winnowing by selection).


Nerve Growth Factor Juvenile Hormone Timing Change Dwarf Mouse Growth Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. McKinney
    • 1
  • Kenneth J. McNamara
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Western Australian MuseumPerthAustralia

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