insular gigantism

[ in-suh-ler jahy-gan-tiz-uhm, ins-yuh‐; ji-, jahy-gan-tiz-uhm ]

  1. the process or result of evolving over many generations from an animal of standard size to one of much increased size, especially evidenced on islands, where the contained environment imparts a strong inclination to territorialism and limits the number of predators, as exemplified by Archaeoindris fontoynontii, an extinct lemur of Madagascar, which evolved to the size of an average gorilla: insular gigantism also occurs in certain plant species, but the studies of such are relatively limited.

Origin of insular gigantism

First recorded in 1940–45
  • Also called is·land gi·gan·tism .

Words Nearby insular gigantism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024