Classifying Heterochrony

Allometry, Size, and Time
  • Michael L. McKinney
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 7)


Heterochrony is evolution via change in timing (and/or rate) of development. However, this oft-repeated definition threatens to dull by repetition the important fact that virtually all evolution involves such changes somewhere in the chain of developmental events. Whether size, shape, or behavior, phylogenetic change almost invariably springs from a change of rate or timing in the ontogeny of descendant individuals. [Since development is a series of highly contingent, interwoven processes, it is much simpler to change the rate or timing of ontogenetic processes rather than accommodate the exponentially cascading effects from changing the processes themselves. This still leads to qualitatively different individuals, including new tissues (Raff and Kaufman, 1983).] Thus, if one is to analyze evolution, a working knowledge of how to analyze heterochrony is critical.


Body Size Descendant Species Ontogenetic Series Allometric Approach Allometric Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. McKinney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological Sciences, and Graduate Program in EcologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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