punctuated equilibrium

punctuated equilibrium
noun Date: 1978 evolution that is characterized by long periods of stability in the characteristics of an organism and short periods of rapid change during which new forms appear especially from small subpopulations of the ancestral form in restricted parts of its geographic range; also a theory or model of evolution emphasizing this — compare gradualism 2

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Punctuated equilibrium — is a theory of evolutionary biology which states that most sexually reproducing populations experience little change for most of their geological history, and that when phenotypic evolution does occur, it is localized in rare, rapid events of… …   Wikipedia

  • punctuated equilibrium — or punctuated equilibria n. a theory of evolution holding that characteristics of living organisms remain relatively stable for long periods that are infrequently interrupted, or punctuated, by brief periods of relatively rapid evolutionary… …   English World dictionary

  • Punctuated equilibrium — Der Punktualismus (englisch Punctuated equilibrium, im Jargon abgekürzt Punk Eek) ist eine von den amerikanischen Paläontologen Niles Eldredge und Stephen Jay Gould erstmals 1972 vorgestellte Theorie zur Erklärung von diskontinuierlichen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • punctuated equilibrium — noun a theory of evolution holding that evolutionary change in the fossil record came in fits and starts rather than in a steady process of slow change • Syn: ↑theory of punctuated equilibrium • Hypernyms: ↑theory of evolution, ↑theory of organic …   Useful english dictionary

  • punctuated equilibrium — noun A theory of evolution holding that evolutionary change tends to be characterized by long periods of stability, or equilibrium, punctuated by episodes of very fast development …   Wiktionary

  • punctuated equilibrium — evolution in rapid bursts followed by long periods without change as opposed to gradualism, q.v …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • punctuated equilibrium — theory of, Biol. a hypothesis holding that the evolution of species proceeds in a characteristic pattern of relative stability for long periods of time interspersed with much shorter periods during which many species become extinct and new… …   Universalium

  • punctuated equilibrium — noun Biology the hypothesis that evolutionary development is marked by isolated episodes of rapid speciation between long periods of little or no change …   English new terms dictionary

  • punctuated equilibrium — punc′tuated equilib′rium n. bio a theory that the evolution of species proceeds with long periods of relative stability interspersed with rapid change Compare gradualism 2) • Etymology: 1972 …   From formal English to slang

  • punctuated equilibrium — /ˌpʌnktʃueɪtəd ikwəˈlɪbrium/ (say .punkchoohaytuhd eekwuh libreeoohm) noun a theory of evolution which states that the evolutionary pattern is one in which significant change in the rate of change is the norm, long periods of relative stability… …   Australian English dictionary

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