Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1037-1

In the general sense, evolution can be characterized by three distinct phenomena: (1) adaptation, the remarkable fit between an organism and its environment, (2) diversity, the great variety of extinct and extant organisms, and (3) complexity, the intricacy of the organization of internal and external structure and function (Muller and Olsson 2003). Anagenesis refers to the idea that there are directional trends in this complexity. In particular, a hierarchy of increasing levels of organization from the simple to the complex characterizes the diversification of species. As Dobzhansky et al. (1977, p. 236) put it in their classic text Evolution, anagenesis creates “organisms with novel characters and abilities beyond those of their ancestors.” In evolutionary biology, anagenesis refers to the progressive evolution of a species resulting in linear descent (phyletic divergence); in contrast, cladogenesis refers to speciation by evolutionary splitting of a lineage (branching) to...


Anagenesis Behavioral Versatility Low-level Behav Iors Schneirla Comparative Psychologists 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mark Krause
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Oregon UniversityAshlandUSA