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What do we know about the forces/mechanisms which lead to this seemingly "fast forward" evolution stages of the embryo? What are the theories dealing with this idea?

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    $\begingroup$ You might want to read up upon the recapitulation theory, and reword your question, to be more specific. $\endgroup$ – Rover Eye May 3 '15 at 20:35
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    $\begingroup$ @canadianer he is talking about the recapitulation theory by Haeckel. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny The developmental history of the organism recapitulates the developmental history of the species. $\endgroup$ – Rover Eye May 3 '15 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ seems like OP received an answer from @RoverEye already $\endgroup$ – aaaaaa May 3 '15 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ Voted to reopen, but still feel that the OP should give more background, e.g. by pointing to cases where recapitulation/fast-forward seems to be a good explanation. Why do you think that "embryonic development [should] mimic [...] the evolution of organisms"? What made you ask this particular question? $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater May 4 '15 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ You only need to read Stephen Jay Gould's entire book on this topic, I believe it is called "Ontogeny and Phylogeny." He argues persuasively that there is no support for Haeckel's ancient theory. $\endgroup$ – mdperry May 4 '15 at 23:20

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