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insular gigantism

[ in-suh-ler jahy-gan-tiz-uhm, ins-yuh‐; ji-, jahy-gan-tiz-uhm ]
/ ˈɪn sə lər dʒaɪˈgæn tɪz əm, ˈɪns yə‐; dʒɪ-, ˈdʒaɪ gænˌtɪz əm /
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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 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.
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Also called is·land gi·gan·tism .
See also Foster's rule.

Origin of insular gigantism

First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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