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Re: flowering 'juvenilies'

In a message dated 06/18/2000 10:23:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time was written:

<< So, what you are saying is, paedomorphosis is when an adult looks or acts
 like a juvenile, while neoteny is when a juvenile is capable of reproducing?

 So, in human terms, certain males of our species are behaviorally
 paedomorphic, while teenage mothers are cases of neoteny.

 Jason Hernandez
 Naturalist-at-Large >>

Hi Jason,

I like your "tonge-in-cheek" humor! but I think you are a bit off kilter with
saying "neoteny is when a juvenile is capable of reproducing?" Neoteny is a
really complex subject and I'm NO AUTHORITY! It does NOT however usually
refer to individuals but to entire phylogenetic groups (involving differing
taxon levels). A simple example are the axolotls - a group of salamanders
that are locked into permanent juvenile (= tadpole) life as "adults". They do
not metamorphose but retain gills and the tail fin throughout physiological
reproductive maturity. In the case of the species Ambystoma mexicanum,
neoteny characterizes the entire population because it is genetically based
in the inability to UTILIZE the hormones for metamorphosis. However, as
exemplification of the diversity in Nature - there are certain populations of
newts and the tiger salamander that are neotenic because the lack of iodide
in their habitat prevents them from MAKING the hormones for metamorphosis.

    Jim Langhammer

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