| Share
 

biogenetic law

biogenetic law, in biology, a law stating that the earlier stages of embryos of species advanced in the evolutionary process, such as humans, resemble the embryos of ancestral species, such as fish. The law refers only to embryonic development and not to adult stages; as development proceeds, the embryos of different species become more and more dissimilar. An early form of the law was devised by the 19th-century Estonian zoologist K. E. von Baer, who observed that embryos resemble the embryos, but not the adults, of other species. A later, but incorrect, theory of the 19th-century German zoologist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel states that the embryonic development (ontogeny) of an animal recapitulates the evolutionary development of the animal's ancestors (phylogeny).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on biogenetic law from Infoplease:

  • ontogeny - ontogeny: ontogeny: see biogenetic law.
  • phylogeny - phylogeny: phylogeny: see biogenetic law.
  • recapitulation - recapitulation recapitulation, theory, stated as the biogenetic law by E. H. Haeckel, that the ...
  • embryo - embryo embryo , name for the developing young of an animal or plant. In its widest definition, the ...
  • Encyclopedia: Biology: General - Encyclopeadia articles concerning Biology: General.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Biology: General

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring