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Meaning of adaptive radiation

adap'tive radia'tion

Pronunciation: [key]
— Biol. Biol.
  1. the diversification of an ancestral group of organisms into a variety of related forms specialized to fit different environments or ways of life, each often further diversifying into more specialized types.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.