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exoadaptationExoadaptation (ger.)

  • An adaptation of an organism with respect to its environment.

    genes which determine the preferences of mating of Drosophila simulans and D. melanogaster have nothing to do with the environments of these species, but they have a great deal to do with the mating of individuals and the genetic isolation to which the separate existence of the species is due. They have arisen, we can hardly doubt, as endo-adaptations, concerned with the breeding relations of parts of one species, as opposed to the exo-adaptation with which we are familiar in the relationship of the species to its general environment.

    Darlington, C.D. (1940). Taxonomic species and genetic systems. In: Huxley, J. (ed.). The New Systematics, 137-160: 152.


    Adaptation may be demonstrated both within an organismic system (endoadaptation) or between the organism and its environment (exoadaptation)

    Emerson, A.E. (1942). Ecology and evolution. Chronica Botanica 7, 151-152: 152.


    All organisms exhibit hereditary fitness to the environment and hereditary adjustment of one part of the organism to the other parts. We may roughly divide these types of evolutionary adaption into exoadaptation and endoadaptation, but there is no sharp line separating the two categories (Sinnott, 1946). Theoretically there is no difference in the basic general causation of either type. Different organismic levels have incorporated the external environment of the lower levels of individuality into the internal environment of the higher levels.

    Allee, W.C., Emerson, A.E., Park, O., Park, T. & Schmidt, K.P. (1949). Principles of Animal Ecology: 631.