noun, plural: macroevolutions

Evolution happening on a large scale, e.g. at or above the level of a species, over geologic time resulting in the divergence of taxonomic groups.


Macroevolution involves variation of allele frequencies at or above the level of a species, where an allele is a specific iteration of a given gene. It is an area of study concerned with variation in frequencies of alleles that are shared between species and with speciation events, and also includes extinction. It is contrasted with microevolution, which is mainly concerned with the small-scale patterns of evolution within a species or population.

Word origin: Greek makro-, from makrós, long + evolution.
Related forms: macroevolutionary (adjective).

Compare: microevolution.

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