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This phenomenon is described as regressive evolution (the loss of a phenotypic trait). There are several reasons why this occurs: Neutral mutations which become fixed through genetic drift. Positive selection of regressive mutations that are beneficial. Pleiotropic antagonism: positive selection for one trait may have the consequence of disrupting ...


So-called "vestigial" features are defined in a post-hoc fashion as features which do not have a positive correlation with a population's fitness under its current living conditions. There are no special names for the evolutionary processes that lead to their loss, since they are exactly the same evolutionary processes that act upon any feature that has a ...

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