Constructional morphology: The analysis of constraints in evolution dedicated to A. seilacher in honour of his 60. birthday

Acta Biotheoretica 34 (2-4):233-248 (1985)
Evolutionary change is opportunistic, but its course is strongly constrained in several fundamental ways. These constraints (historical/phylogenetic, functional/adaptive, constructional/morphogenetic) and their dynamic relationships are discussed here and shown to constitute the conceptual framework of Constructional Morphology. Notwithstanding recent published opinions which claim that the discovery of constraints renders Neodarwinian selection theory obsolete, we regard the insights of Constructional Morphology as being entirely consistent with this theory. As is shown here in the case of the Hyracoidea, formal analysis of the constraints which have framed the evolution of various characters extends our understanding of the evolution of a taxon.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00046787
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