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insular dwarfism

[ in-suh-ler dwawr-fiz-uhm, ins-yuh‐ ]
/ ˈɪn sə lər ˈdwɔr fɪz əm, ˈɪns yə‐ /
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noun Biology.

the process or result of evolving over many generations from an animal of standard size to one of much reduced size, especially evidenced on islands, where the contained environment limits the species’ range and available resources, as exemplified by the island fox, which inhabits the Channel Islands of California: insular dwarfism also occurs in certain plant species, but the studies of such are relatively limited.

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Also called is·land dwarf·ism .
See also Foster's rule.

Origin of insular dwarfism

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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