Meaning of neoteny

ne•ot•e•ny

Pronunciation: (nē-ot'n-ē), [key]
— n. Biol.
  1. Also calledthe production of offspring by an organism in its larval or juvenile form; the elimination of the adult phase of the life cycle.
  2. a slowing of the rate of development with the consequent retention in adulthood of a feature or features that appeared in an earlier phase in the life cycle of ancestral individuals: Neoteny in the ostrich has resulted in adult birds sporting the down feathers of nestlings.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: