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A homoplasia (from the Greek homos "common", "equal" and plasis "formation") describes a characteristic in biology that has arisen independently of one another in several taxa ( convergence ). This term (technical term) is mainly used in molecular biology when comparing gene sequences; in morphology , on the other hand, it is more of a convergent feature.

The opposite of homoplasia is homology . The English term homoplasy is also often generally understood in the sense of an analogy .

The term homoplasia was introduced into the technical language in 1870 by Ray Lankester .


Keyword “homoplasia.” In: Herder-Lexikon der Biologie. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, Heidelberg 2003. ISBN 3-8274-0354-5

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ray Lankester : On the Use of the Term Homology in Modern Zoology, and the Distinction between Homogenetic and Homoplastic Agreements. In: The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Zoology, Botany, and Geology , 4th Series, Volume 6, 1870, pp. 34-43