nounMedicine & Zoology
1The occurrence of a second conception during pregnancy, giving rise to embryos of different ages in the uterus.
- The researchers believe the combination of embryonic diapause and superfetation may benefit females, regardless of their social system, by enabling cryptic polyandry - mating with more than one male.
- When does are bred on multiple heat cycles, it may appear that superfetation has occurred due to fetal sizes and maturity differences.
- The topmost photo at right is of an ovary of the species Poeciliopsis presidionis, which has superfetation and extensive maternal provisioning.
Early 17th century: from French superfétation or modern Latin superfetatio(n-), from Latin superfetare, from super- 'above' + fetus 'fetus'.
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