Online Encyclopedia

ATAVISM (from Lat. atavus, a great-gr...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 823 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ATAVISM (from Lat. atavus, a great-great-great-grandfather or ancestor), the term given in biology to the reproduction in a living person or animal of the characteristics of an ancestor more remote than its parents '(see HEREDITY).'. _ Loosely used, it con-notes a reversion to an earlier type. Individuals reproduce' unexpectedly the traits of earlier ancestors, and ethnologists and criminologists frequently explain by " atavism " the occurrence of degenerate species of man; but the whole subject is complicated by other possible explanations of such phenomena, included in the scientific study of normal variation."
End of Article: ATAVISM (from Lat. atavus, a great-great-great-grandfather or ancestor)
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