noun[mass noun] Biology
The evolutionary development and diversification of a species or group of organisms, or of a particular feature of an organism. Compare with ontogenesis.
- Later, during phylogenesis, phagocytosis of other prokaryotic cell types allowed the acquisition of plastids and mitochondria to form the contemporary eukaryotic cells.
- Ontogenesis, we were taught, repeats phylogenesis - or, if you've been out of school too long, the development of the individual organism reiterates the evolution of the species.
Late 19th century: from Greek phulon, phulē 'race, tribe' + genesis.
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Line breaks: phylo|gen¦esis
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