- developed from more than one ancestral type, as a group of animals.
Origin of polyphyletic
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Examples from the Web for polyphyletic
Polyphyletic: derived or descended from several stems or sources.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
Griffiths clearly showed that Noble's Brachycephalidae was a polyphyletic assemblage.
But what are we to say with regard to the series of repeated accidents which the polyphyletic hypothesis would seem to demand?Science and Morals and Other Essays
Bertram Coghill Alan Windle
On the question as to whether descent was monophyletic or polyphyletic Darwin expressed no dogmatic opinion.
He believed in saltatory evolution, in polyphyletic descent, and in the greater plasticity of the organism in earlier times.
- biology relating to or characterized by descent from more than one ancestral group of animals or plants
C19: from poly- + phyletic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- Descended or derived from more than one ancestral stock or source.
- Of or being the theory that blood cells are derived from several different stem cells, depending on the particular blood cell type.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Relating to a taxonomic group that does not include the common ancestor of the members of the group and whose members have two or more separate origins. A group that consists of flying vertebrates would be polyphyletic, as bats and birds independently evolved flight and do not share a common ancestor. Compare monophyletic paraphyletic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.