Evolutionary Biology

Volume 28 of the series Evolutionary Biology pp 1-37

Homology and Embryonic Development

  • Brian K. HallAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia

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Homology (Greek homologica, agreement) is a biological concept with a long and checkered history, summarized in a recent volume of papers (Hall, 1994) devoted to the concept, criteria, and mechanisms of homology and its pivotal importance as the hierarchical basis of comparative biology; what Julian Huxley (1928) referred to as “morphology’s central conception.” Thinking about relationships between homology and embryonic development while writing a larger work on Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Hall, 1992) prompted production of the 1993 volume celebrating the sesquicentennial of Richard Owen having delineated homology from analogy, and the present review on how homology relates to, or is perceived to relate to, embryonic development.