Dictionary » A » Atavism



noun, plural: atavisms

(1) A reversion, or an individual reverting, to an earlier type; an evolutionary throwback.

(2) A reappearance of an ancestral characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence.


Atavisms occur due to chance recombination of genes. Genes coding for such traits are preserved in DNA although the genes may not be expressed in some organisms.

Word origin: Latin atavus, a great-grandfather's grandfather and, thus, more generally, an ancestor.
Related forms: atavist (noun), atavistic (adjective).

See also: pangenesis.

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Recessive and dominant genetics - Pitx1 case study

... expect to be functional and which regions are non-functional in manatees or dolphins without hindlimbs? what about the dolphin with the hindlimb atavism. Than in the following graph the traits listed are Pelvis(green circle), nose(red square), jaw (blue triangle) to be honest the 2nd question ...

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by scienceguy914
Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:44 am
Forum: Genetics
Topic: Recessive and dominant genetics - Pitx1 case study
Replies: 0
Views: 3301

Re: Atavism

Wow, Sumanth001, ­ really in-depth answer :!: :wink:

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by KellyMarie
Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:40 am
Forum: Human Biology
Topic: Atavism
Replies: 4
Views: 4723


Can anyone explain to me the appearance of tail in humans

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by Sumanth001
Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:32 am
Forum: Human Biology
Topic: Atavism
Replies: 4
Views: 4723

two different color eyes

There is something called Atavism....that is sometime some traits of grand or grand grand parents are expressed in the succesive offsprings. Could be one reason. Secondly, if it's Y linked trait, that may come through father....need not ...

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by AKumar
Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:16 pm
Forum: Human Biology
Topic: two different color eyes
Replies: 141
Views: 298510

A Monkey's Uncle

... thinking that evolution always works upward. It simply means the differentiation or mutation from a parent organism. There are several examples of atavism, especially in the plant kingdom. To suggest that evolution doesn’t work laterally as well is fuzzy thinking. Picture an arid zone. Picture ...

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by AstusAleator
Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:01 am
Forum: Evolution
Topic: A Monkey's Uncle
Replies: 26
Views: 62724
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