Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Homology

  • Jennifer Sublett
  • Kristine O. EvansEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1144-1

Synonyms

Definition

Homology is the concept of physiological, morphological, or behavioral features in an organism that arise from common evolutionary ancestry.

Introduction

When organisms diverge from each other in evolution, the resulting specialized traits can appear (and function) vastly different. However, upon closer inspection, evolutionary links often remain in the related species. A well-studied example of this can be observed in Fig. 1. The figure shows the similarities in structure development between a human hand and that of a bat wing. While the general bone positions and number are comparable, their functions are very different. Through time, the originally similar bat and human bones have evolved to serve unique purposes. Although it is probably most well-known for relating the physical characteristics of animals together, homology has been an important concept in exploring fields like genetics, learning, and behavior. By observing traits in...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Chakraborty, R., Vepuri, V., Mhatre, S. D., Paddock, B. E., Miller, S., Michelson, S. J., et al. (2011). Characterization of a Drosophila Alzheimers Disease model: Pharmacological rescue of cognitive defects. PLoS One, 6(6).  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Collet, J. (2012). Propositions for a phylogenetic approach to social learning. BioSciences Master Reviews, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. Retrieved September 18, 2018, from http://biologie.ens-lyon.fr/ressources/bibliographies/m1-11-12-biosci-reviews-collet-j-1c-m.xml
  3. Geyer, M., & Markou, A. (2000). Animal models of psychiatric disorders. Psychopharmacology: The Fourth Generation of Progress. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313794348_Animal_Models_of_Psychiatric_Disorders
  4. Hirasawa, T., & Kuratani, S. (2015). Evolution of the vertebrate skeleton: Morphology, embryology, and development. Zoological Letters, (2), 1.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40851-014-0007-7.
  5. Kiley-Worthington, M. (2017). The mental homologies of mammals. Towards an understanding of another mammals world view. Animals, 7(12), 87.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7120087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Overall, K. L. (2000). Natural animal models of human psychiatric conditions: Assessment of mechanism and validity [Abstract]. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 24(5), 727–776.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0278-5846(00)00104-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Panksepp, J. (2011). Cross-species affective neuroscience decoding of the primal affective experiences of humans and related animals. PLoS One, 6(9).  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Platt, M. L., & Spelke, E. S. (2009). What can developmental and comparative cognitive neuroscience tell us about the adult human brain? Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 19(1), 1–5.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2009.06.002.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and AquacultureMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mystera M. Samuelson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Institute for Marine Mammal StudiesGulfportUSA