Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

2009 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers (Editor-in-Chief)

Development, Evolution, and the Emergence of Novel Behavior

  • Amy K. Gardiner
  • David F. Bjorklund
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3_121

Definition of the Subject

Ontogeny, or individual development, results from the bidirectional interactions of genes and environment. It is this interaction that allows inherited traits to become expressed in the phenotypes ofadult organisms. While each individual will develop along its own unique trajectory, most members of a species are very much the same because theyall inherit a species‐typical genotype and a species‐typical environment. When this enviroment changes, individuals must adopt orthey will fail to survive. Individuals with enough plasticity to respond to new environments by developing novel phenotypes will be more likely to survivethan those without such resilience. In this way, developmental change can have substantial impact onevolution by providing the grist upon which natural selection acts. Successful developmental systemswill be selected and inherited, and evolution may thus be seen as a series of ontogenies.

Introduction

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy K. Gardiner
    • 1
  • David F. Bjorklund
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA