plesiomorphy

an ancestral character state; the state from which an apomorphy is derived; usually and correctly applied to a specific character and not to a taxon. Note that derived states need not be more complex than plesiomorphic states and so the plesiomorphic state should not be referred to as primitive

Dictionary of ichthyology. 2009.

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  • plesiomorphy —   Ancestral or underived character or character state; note that a plesiomorphy at a given hierarchical level may be an apomorphy at a more inclusive level.   See also autoapomorphy, homology, symplesiomorphy, synapomorphy …   Expanded glossary of Cycad terms

  • plesiomorphy — n. [Gr. plesios, near; morphos, form] A term referring to original or primitive characters being retained; normally used in cladistic taxonomy; see apomorphy, symplesiomorph …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

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