Re: Neoteny was Re: god makes hubey

chris brochu (
23 Nov 1995 03:48:09 GMT

In article <> H. M. Hubey, writes:
>>In any event, your post reveals a thorough misunderstanding of
>>heterochrony. Paedomorphosis does not mean "descendent A will look like
>>ancestor B;" rather, it means "descendent A will possess a character at
>>maturity that was lost during earlier ontogenetic stages by descendent
>Which animals looked like human babies?

As adults, or as juveniles? An important question, since any
heterochronic statement requires attention both to ontogenetic stage and
>Which animals looked like chimp babies?

>Are we looking for some fossils that we know should exist?

WHat's your point?

Another misconception regarding heterochrony is apparent here - animals
are not heterochronic. Characters are. Some aspects of adult human
morphology are paedomorphic (or neotenic, if you prefer that word)
insofar as they are more similar to what we see in early ontogenetic
stages in other primates. Other characters - for example, absolute brain
size - are peramorphic. Any given animal will be a mixture of
paedomorphic and peramorphic characters.

Heterochrony can reverse itself - there is no absolute "directionality"