living fossil
noun Date: 1922 an organism (as a horseshoe crab or a ginkgo tree) that has remained essentially unchanged from earlier geologic times and whose close relatives are usually extinct

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Living fossil — is an informal term for any living species (or clade) of organism which appears to be the same as a species otherwise only known from fossils and has no close living relatives. These species have all survived major extinction events, and… …   Wikipedia

  • living fossil — n an ancient animal or plant that still exists and has not changed …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • living fossil — noun : an animal or plant (as the king crab or the gingko tree) that has remained essentially unchanged from earlier geologic times and whose near relatives are usually extinct compare relict * * * an organism that is a living example of an… …   Useful english dictionary

  • living fossil — living organism of which the most closely related organisms have been extinct and exist only in fossil form …   English contemporary dictionary

  • living fossil — noun a) Any species discovered first as a fossil and believed extinct, but which is later found living. The coelacanth and the dawn redwood are living fossils. b) Any living species which very closely resembles fossil relatives in most anatomical …   Wiktionary

  • living fossil — /lɪvɪŋ ˈfɒsəl/ (say living fosuhl) noun a plant or animal species which has continued to survive in its native habitat since prehistoric times, such as the Wollemi pine, or is almost identical to species only known from the fossil record, such as …   Australian English dictionary

  • living fossil — an extant species morphologically similar to a fossil; a taxon little changed over long periods, e.g. the coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • living fossil — an organism that is a living example of an otherwise extinct group and that has remained virtually unchanged in structure and function over a long period of time, as the coelacanth and the horseshoe crab. [1920 25] * * * …   Universalium

  • living fossil — liv′ing fos′sil n. pal an organism that is a living, virtually unchanged example of an otherwise extinct group • Etymology: 1920–25 …   From formal English to slang

  • living fossil — noun (C) technical an animal or plant of a very ancient type, that has not changed and still exists …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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