Talk:Neoteny

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Some cleanup[edit]

This article seems to be an argument centered around authority figures rather than facts. The people who have the respective views are given more prominence than the views they spouse, or the data supporting those views. Not very good science. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.40.5.245 (talk) 13:13, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I've removed some of the dodgy grammer and unreferenced (and slightly odd) claims in the Evolution section, which is otherwise excellent. From the middle paragraph, I've removed:

"But in some, neoteny remains; and that is a quest to learn and get better and find out things."

referring to human adults - this is misusing the word "neoteny" to mean "youthfulness", and apart from being unreferenced speculation hence does not belong in this discussion. I've cleaned up the rest of that paragraph to include the information on chimps, while removing the claim that they "lose their neoteny" - changing to "begins adulthood". I've also removed the link to Autism, as there is no evidence that the two subjects are related. --163.1.176.68 19:00, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

I changed the first sentence from "Neoteny describes a process by which paedomorphism is achieved..." to "Neoteny describes a process by which the adults of a species retain traits previously seen only in juveniles (paedomorphism)..." to make it accessible to people (like myself) who do no know what Neoteny or Paedomorphism is.

I've added "juvenilization" to the lead sentence in order to relate the topic to its redirection. • Freechild'sup? 14:06, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation?[edit]

How does one actually pronounce "neoteny"? grendel|khan 19:55, 2005 Mar 28 (UTC)

My professors pronounced it like "knee-ought-ten-knee" (I know those aren't official phoenetic symbols). Then again, I'm Canadian. --Waterspyder 22:06, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

No, its good!

Say if rhymes with monotony. Jidanni (talk) 21:06, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Should be /niːˈɒtɨni/ instead of /niːˈɒtɨniː/ — Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.11.72.101 (talk) 09:18, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

I added more pronunciations cited to various dictionaries. I did not find the /niːˈɒtɨni/ pronunciation. Do you know a dictionary that states that that is the correct pronunciation?--Ephert (talk) 16:56, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Ephert, please learn IPA notation. What Merriam-Webster transcribes as /nē.ˈä.tə.nē/ in IPA is /niˈɑtəni/. The same is valid for the other dictionaries. Piaractus (talk) 13:49, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
All pronunciations are in fact just one, because they simply account for different accents or different conventions. /iː/ is the same as /i/ (the vowel of fleece); unstressed /iː/ is the same as /i/ and also the same as /ɪ/ (the last vowel oh "happy"); [ɒ] and [ɑ] are the British and American realizations of the vowel in "lot", usually represented as /ɒ/; and the differences among [niˈɒtɨni], [niˈɒtəni] or [niˈɒt.n.i] can be attributed to accent; there are also dictionaries that use [niˈɒtəni]. Piaractus (talk) 16:22, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
The article Help:IPA for English has a much better explanation than mine. Piaractus (talk) 17:59, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I am not convinced. I think /iː/ and /ɪ/ refer to different sounds.--Ephert (talk) 07:12, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

please do not confuse neoteny and progenesis[edit]

In the neoteny entry there are many references to a similar process, progenesis. A short description:
- neoteny: the retaining of early characters (usually embryonic) in the adult.
- progenesis: the earlier acquisition of sexual organs and gonads which can lead to sexually mature larval stages such as the ones mentioned in the neoteny entry.
Whoever is responsible for the neoteny entry, please revise your sources.

I agree that this could do with clarification - the definitions that someone has anonymously posted immediately above are what I understand neoteny and progenesis to mean. Does anyone disagree to my clarifying this in the article? Owl 18:15, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I was taught something similar: that neoteny generally meant that the individual has mostly adult/mature features with the retention of some juvenile characteristics, while paedomorphism is the condition of reaching sexual maturity while still looking altogether like a juvenile (like axolotl and other creatures that retain an almost entirely laerval appearance). --2.91.134.87 (talk) 04:28, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Yes, thsi article is actually about paedomorphism, NOT neoteny — Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.40.5.245 (talk) 23:24, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

giant panda[edit]

"However, a more famous example is the Giant Panda, an animal that retains its baby like cuteness into adulthood."

  • Erh!?!?!?!?!? It may LOOK cute to a human, but as an adult it is "as mean-minded as the grisliest of bears" Anthony Appleyard 17:39, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Adult giant pandas do retain their childlook looks, and are thus considered to be neotenized. Cuteness or mean-mindedness are matters of opinion. --Ryz05 02:54, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Come now, we know that all bears are Godless killing machines! Richard001 02:18, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Major change announcement[edit]

After reviewing material from when I studied this in University, what is described in this article is a little closer to paedomorphosis than it is to neoteny. Neoteny is a particular mechanism of paedomorphosis in which juvenile physical or somatic characteristics are slowed or delayed. Progenesis is another mechanism by which the organism's development is halted before achieving ancestral maturity. I will eb making some changes, and will be moving some of the material over to paedomorphosis as appropriate. --Waterspyder 22:27, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I ended up moving material over to progenesis and will be doing more research. I thought the paedomorphosis of Axolotl was a progenetic, not neotenic. Other changes will follow for clarity. --Waterspyder 23:10, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

If you are going to get serious, I suggest using numbered references. --JWSchmidt 23:31, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
The book "Developmental Biology of the Axolotl" refers to the animal and its relatives as neotenic. It does undergo a cryptic metamorphosis in which the lungs become functional. A neotenic salamander may also be larger than a non-neotenic adult when it reaches maturity. So it's a failure to transform completely. 05:49, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Chordates[edit]

On 7 March 2006, 24.61.98.230 wrote:

It is also theorized that the phylum Chordata first originated as a result of paedomorphism occuring in a highly primitive animal such as a sponge or coral.

This comment must be substantiated. I am removing it; the user in question may feel free to add it back with an appropriate citation. --April Arcus 20:41, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

However, in modern evolutionary biology it is generally accepted that the important evolutionary transition from invertebrates to vertebrates was the result of an instance of neoteny.

I am familiar with this hypothesis, and with the recent revision of the chordate lineage that lends it some credibility, however it would still seem to be far from "generally accepted". --74.102.135.71 01:02, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

The wording on this topic immediately before my edit stands at: "The presumed ancestors to the motile invertebrates (and thus the vertebrates as well, which are derived from them) are the tunicates, marine filter feeders." I feel that this is somewhat misleading - chordates are the phylum in question here, while many invertebrates are motile. I have edited it to make it (as I see it) more accurate. As far as I am aware, current thinking is that the sessile tunicates are the derived form. While I would like to change the article to reflect that, I cannot provide a reference. Owl 18:24, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

"physiological (or somatic) "

don't you mean "physical (or somatic)"? physiological need not be just somatic 80.126.21.216 01:34, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Bean in the Ender's Shadow Series[edit]

I believe the biological changes on Bean in the Ender's Shadow series known as Anton's Key would be an example of neoteny. The exponential growth and extreme penchant for learning are characteristics of babies that Bean holds on to. Would this be appropriate for inclusion? Mathwhiz90601 (talk) 05:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Movement of vagina[edit]

I have read somewhere (and I haven't read "The Naked Ape") that the reasons that humans are the only mammals that have sexual intercourse face to face is because in the juvenile female the vagina is situated prominently at the front of the body, but that in non-human mammals, as the female matures, the vagina gradually moves closer to the anus, making the so-called "doggie style" the only practicable position. Thus, the "missionary position" would be the result of neotonous aspects in human evolution, although why this should happen is unclear to me. Any thoughts on this? Myles325a (talk) 07:42, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if the hip bones in other apes are more significantly more human-like in the earlier stages of development (so that our stage would be a retention of this developmental stage), but it's false that humans are the only mammals that have face-to-face sexual intercourse, the other apes do as well, perhaps just not as commonly. Extremophile (talk) 01:53, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

"In humans" and "In other animals"[edit]

cool. i like this :) "humans" and "other animals"

I wish I'd hear this more often. It's usually "humans" and "animals" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.123.58.189 (talk) 21:15, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

"Between races"[edit]

ummmmmmmmmm is it just me, or does it seem highly offensive to have this section with that quote and provide absolutely no context for it? I'd edit it myself, but I don't know anything about the topic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.89.180.106 (talk) 03:46, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes. It is. And the citations of Gould are absolutely mischaracterized. Gould wrote _Mismeasure of Man_ precisely to debunk the statements about races being more or less childlike that you attribute to him here. He quotes other, earlier, racist thinkers and then tears their methodology and logic apart. To advance statements like "'Orientals'" are 'clearly' the most neotenized human race" is false and offensive on multiple levels. I am stunned that this has been allowed to stand, and Gould would be horrified to see his work misappropriated in such a way. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.172.53.237 (talk) 17:13, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Those were quotes from his book. Unless it has been documented that he later retracted his statements made in that book, I do not understand the reason he would not have meant the statements he wrote in it.

Gould's main "debunk" as you put it anonymous IP contributor had to do with the bias he observed in categorizing of neoteny in races. That is to say, he argued that when the prevailing ideology in anthropology was recapitulation, wherein less neoteny was thought to be advanced, European-descended anthropologists amassed a bunch of data to show that European Nordics were the least neotenized peoples and Sub-Saharan Africans were the most neotenized people. Gould exposed the way this categorization of differing neoteny in races was flipped when neoteny was thought to be advanced i.e. European-descended anthropologists tried to show that Europeans were most neotenized and Sub-Saharan Africans were least neotenized. Gould (and Montagu who he referenced) considered both these two points of view to be incorrect and biased as it was their assertion that the "Oriental" or "Mongoloid" as Montagu put it was the most neotenized race. --Ephert (talk) 18:25, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

The race aspect certainly calls this article into question. Also of concern is the section about neoteny and "physical attractiveness". It's not about physical attractiveness, it's about female attractiveness. Where is the parallel study where women are judging male attractiveness? Also, where is the section highlighting controversies? Eriostemon (talk) 21:32, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

There should be information about male physical attractiveness and neoteny here if such studies exist.--Ephert (talk) 06:12, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

I've edited this section to clarify Gould's remarks, and place them in context. In his Mismeasure of Man, Gould clearly objects to the ranking of groups as having more or less neotony (Gould, 1996, pg. 150). But he does state that if one uses the ranking framework set out by the Dutch anatomist Louis Bolk, a prominent proponent of neotony, whites would not rank highest, but "Orientals" would. ReflexArc (talk) 18:05, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

It's pretty clear to me that simply claiming that a race has the most "childlike" or "neotenous" features is not necessarily racist or offensive. The article presents many points of view that I would find to be commending various features that may be considered neotenous: for instance, some features possibly considered neotenous may actually be the result of an evolutionary trend in modern humans, and have provided various benefits. I think the article is fairly balanced in refraining from a one-sided view or offensive stance. --Supjet (talk) 13:44, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Well, to play advocatus diaboli, the insight that Mongoloids or orientals have neotenous traits (at least outwardly) compared to Caucasians would not necessarily faze modern racists. The article does allow the reading that intelligence or also creativity, as in "[h]ighly-educated people and eminent scientists", is a juvenile/neotenous trait, which allows the race-and-intelligence issue to enter again through a backdoor. Modern racists seem willing to admit that Mongoloids are superior even to Caucasians in terms of intelligence (in view of the high academic performance of Asian Americans), which wouldn't hurt their conviction that Caucasians are superior to the rest, i. e., Australoids and Africans – dark-skinned people. Asian Americans outperform white Americans, who in their turn outperform Afro-Americans, and if bodily and mental neotenous traits are linked, racists can claim that this difference has a biological basis and state actions can do nothing about it. Afro-Americans are doomed to lower educational achievement compared to whites, just as whites have to concede the inherent academic superiority of Asians (and possibly even Jewish Americans) – according to this line of thinking. As long as they can keep Afro-Americans or Africans down, white racists are happy – Asians are well-integrated, so they don't have an equally big problem with them. Don't underestimate the ability of racists to adapt and to integrate new evidence into their predetermined worldview, forcefully if needed. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:56, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

From a purely scientific point of view there is nothing inherently wrong with racism. This is about science, not politics. If a statistical difference between two distinct human populations can be observed, then there is a difference. This does not imply any political consequences. Science does not depend on politics. It has to be neutral, no matter whether the results of a study are politically desired or undesired. If it makes some racists happy or not is irrelevant. 41.139.185.58 (talk) 21:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC) Mortran

Problem being race isn't biological, it's sociological. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2605:6000:6FC0:26:29F9:25D6:783F:4D6 (talk) 10:49, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Actually, race is biological. That's why they can test DNA to determine racial makeup. Now, the extent of differences among races may be considered mostly a social construct. Areas where long-isolated races have mixed may cause people to construct differences between people with common ancestors (for instance, I believe African-Americans commonly have 12.5% and sometimes up to 50% of European ancestry, not counting recent interracial marrying).

Furthermore, 'caucasoid', 'negroid', and 'mongoloid' are poor terms to really advance this topic. Specifically, just within Mongoloid, you can go from high neoteny in Chinese to very low neotony in Polynesians. Maybe it would be more helpful to discuss the various neotenic features observed within various races. If you want to roughly group races in threes, fine. However, I think that this "3 race paradigm" accounts more for the superficial characteristics, like skin/eyes/hair, than anything meaningful. That said, explain how each race may exhibit neoteny differently.Maggie3Wink (talk) 11:50, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Large brain[edit]

It is surprising to the non-expert that a "large brain" could be an example of "retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles". Although sourced, a couple of words of explanation would be helpful I think. Do juveniles have larger brains than adults? Is that what it's saying? 86.181.173.177 (talk) 13:52, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I just checked the "Growing Young" source material and confirmed that Ashley Montagu did indeed claim a "larger brain" and a "large brain" were "neotenous". He also has said, "size of brain is certainly a neotenous trait". In explanation of his brain size claim, he mentions a criticism from zoologist R.F.Ewer whose critique was that "In humans the relatively large size of the brain... does not result from curtailing growth," to which Montague responded, "neoteny... is not a 'curtailing of growth'...but a retention of fetal growth rate during the first years of life, and this is a fact, not a theory".--Ephert (talk) 17:19, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Juveniles tend to have relatively (not absolutely) larger brains than adults, if I'm not mistaken. People who maintain what some call "neoteny" in this feature, will retain relatively large brains into adulthood (consequently the Mongoloids are considered by some to be more "neotenous" in this feature than other groups are, as they have [on average] the largest brains relative to overall body size [and consequently the largest brains on an absolute scale as well]). --Supjet (talk) 13:33, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Small genitalia[edit]

"Small genitalia." Is that vandalism, as far as I've heard, human genitalia is extremely large when compared to other primates. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 10:40, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Seems to be derived from this edit: [1] although it looks weird to me. I can't see why small genitalia would be a sign of neoteny to begin with, though, since neoteny includes sexual maturity. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 21:21, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
In his biography of John R. Baker and critique of "Race, Foundation for Human Understanding" by John R. Baker, Michael G. Kenny of the Department of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University said "Race was not based on original research", (Kenny, 2004, pp. 411). I interpret this to mean someone else -- a person of authority -- must have documented the small genitalia of the Bushmen and Baker only included a citation of it. I do not know this for sure, however, since, after having searched through three anthropology databases for hours, I have come to the conclusion, unfortunately, that I do not have a way to view the original text. I must have used the self-published review of the article written by "Thomas Jackson" and trusted the information it claimed was found in the Baker source. Self-published sources are not reliable, so I think I will have to remove my citations to John R. Baker. If anybody has access to the original Baker source and can find to whom he cited his statements about the Bushmen, I would much appreciate it, so I could find it in an anthropology database and cite it.--Ephert (talk) 04:14, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Michael G. Kenny. (2004) Racial Science in Social Context: John R. Baker on Eugenics, Race, and the Public Role of the Scientist. Isis. Vol. 95, No. 3, pp. 394-419. The University of Chicago Press 10.1086/428959

This might be due to me misunderstanding the concept, but as far as I have interpreted it, for humans in general, it means that adult or sexually mature individuals have retained many childlike features, such as round smooth faces, and smooth unwrinkled skin. Bringing in "small genitalia" seems somewhat contradictory, since a fully developed adult human male normally have very large genitalia compared to related, allegedly less neotenic, species. The closely related chimpanzee and bonobo being notably larger than the more distant gorilla, orangutan and gibbon. Thanks for your answer. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 12:28, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Humans have some traits that are less neotenous than other Great Apes such as a fleshy nose, long legs and, as you pointed out, a larger gentialia.--Ephert (talk) 21:23, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 11:46, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Brain size decrease with age[edit]

This source added in this edit does not say that human brain shinkage contradicts the humans are neotenous hypothesis. The information in this article is presented in a very different way from the citations that are currently included as contradictions to the humans are neotenous hypothesis, since those actually are written from the perspective of contradicting said hypothesis and explicitly state their claims to disprove said hypothesis. On the other hand, the source about brain size decrease says human brain size decrease in old age is not found in other primates, but it does not say it contradicts the humans are neotenous hypothesis. It would require synthesis of sources with one source saying brain size decrease contradicts neoteny to be relevant to this article and synthesis of sources is not allowed on Wikipedia. Synthesis of sources is a form of original research.--Ephert (talk) 03:38, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Comparison between female h. sap. sapiens skull and male h. sap. neandertalensis skull[edit]

My sister had anatomy lessons and I asked her. She told me that one (h.s.sapiens) is female skull. It's wrong way to define neoteny. That is not inter-species comparison. I rather prefer a male and a female h.s.sapiens comparison. A comparison between a male h.s.sap. skull and a male h.s.nea. skull is also can be good. But, honestly, even my skull is much more identical to neanderthal one at some aspects. Please confirm. Is that a female skull? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.229.14.127 (talk) 17:44, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

So "neoteny" here is mostly applied relative to Caucasian features?[edit]

I got this impression since it seems to me that most of the views described in the article are with regards to Caucasian traits. Indeed, many of the "neotenous" features mentioned would not be considered "neotenous" if the very idea of "neoteny" as the retention of juvenile traits into adulthood was to instead be based on an average of peoples' typical features among all races, as some of the features that would be considered neotenous relative to Caucasians are actually more common among all adults - Caucasian or otherwise - than the non-neotenous counterparts (which would indeed seem to suggest that such features - when used in context among all people rather than just relative to Caucasians - are not necessarily retained juvenile features but more likely retained features that are in fact normal for many adults to have and that consequently may not be considered juvenile in context). In this case, I suspect that the notion of "neoteny" described in this article being largely applied relative to Caucasian features should be noted in the introductory section and/or where relevant, as it poses quite a significant assumption. --Supjet (talk) 13:59, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

This article is definitely problematic in that it treats "Caucasians" as the default, with all other "races" being defined by their relation to that Caucasian template. But that conceals a deeper problem: neoteny is a biological phenomenon, not a sociological one. Race, by contrast, exists solely as a social construct. Biologically speaking, racial differences account for a negligibly tiny fraction of human DNA and race, for all intents and purposes, simply doesn't exist. In a biologically-focused article, such as this one, race ought to be completely irrelevant. As such, I'd say it would be better if the comparisons between races were either removed entirely or replaced with a brief mention as part of the history of research into neoteny.--Life in General (Talk) 09:02, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

The denial of races is a modern social phenomenon, not a scientific one. It would never occur to an unprejudiced mind (like a child or people without close contact to the Western society) to deny the existence of races. Racial distinctions have been made independently by every human civilization of the world apart from some Western academics. How "tiny" the DNA differences between races may be is irrelevant for the phenotype. Even the DNA difference between humans and chimpanzees is tiny (<2%), but denying that there is a difference between humans and chimpanzees is just as absurd as denying the existence of human races. 41.139.185.58 (talk) 22:08, 24 April 2012 (UTC) Mortran

Betweem humans and chimpanzees there exists a taxonomical difference, which clearly doesn't exist between different human races. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 17:12, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
While many historical cultures have had ideas of race, the specific divisions and categories are not universal or stable over time. Your argument is comparable to saying that the prevalence of religion across cultures is proof of the existence of supernatural beings. 138.16.21.199 (talk) 07:32, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Are you kidding with this? Race is a cultural distinction, not a scientific one. It is entirely possible for a black person and a white person to be more genetically similar than two white people. 2602:30B:8266:4C29:5021:D509:AB3A:CBA6 (talk) 23:42, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Regarding the first comment, varying degrees of neoteny would persist even if we had an average of people's typical adult states among all races, just like variations in height or skin color would persist. Some people retain more infantile characteristics while others develop past that point, diverging more from the infantile form, and others even beyond that, in a somewhat "mosaic" pattern, rather than something uniform to all traits. And this isn't evenly distributed all around the world. The problem is that for neoteny there isn't an absolute metric/classification (not that I know), so we're more or less forced to speak or relative degrees. That needn't be "caucasoid-centric", however, and shouldn't give the impressions that deviations from the caucasoid average are "abnormalities" of some sort. A non-caucasoid-centric representation could be seen more or less like a line from neotenous to "more adult/old", with interval/range delineations, or perhaps bell curves, with Asians, then sub saharan Africans, then caucasoids, then native Australians and Tasmanians. Perhaps more ideally with each of those groups subdivided in their many sub constituents, to better emphasize the overlaps and the true nature of the variation, rather than artificial averages. You'd have for example, some caucasoids (typologically called "alpines")approaching the neoteny level of Asians, and some asians approaching caucasoids, and even some australoids overlapping with africans, nearly at the other end of the spectrum. But then you'd need some metric for all traits and collapse it all into a single dimension/line, I don't know if it has already been done. Extremophile (talk) 01:35, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Extremophile, that is just what I was mentioning in another post. It's very hard to be precise with these things. Interesting idea on producing a dimension with overlapping plots. That would allow people to see the neotenous range for each general race.Maggie3Wink (talk) 11:56, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Quotations[edit]

In a few sections talking about scientific studies, there are an extremely unnecessary amount of quotation marks, specifically in the difference between sexes section. It is very distracting to read. Just a thought. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.232.252.152 (talk) 09:05, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Neoteny versus progressiveness/kainoteny[edit]

The difference between progressive traits & neoteny is posited at the "progressive" disambiguation talk page. 216.227.108.60 (talk) 07:02, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Types of paedomorphosis[edit]

there are 3 types of pure paedomorphosis: neoteny (decreased rate), progenesis (early offset) and postdisplacement (late onset). Post displacement does not seem to have been mentioned in Gould 1977 work [1] but has appeared in later works, such as Alberch et al (which notably included Gould) 1979[2].— Preceding unsigned comment added by Porangey (talkcontribs)

  1. ^ Gould, Stephen Jay (1977). Ontogeny and Phylogeny. USA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-63940-5.
  2. ^ Alberch, Pere (1979). "Size and Shape in Ontogeny and Phylogeny". Paleobiology. 5 (3): 296–317. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
You refer to the lead, and I can add to your comment that the lead is unclear for those without prior knowledge. It needs to be rewritten by someone who knows a bit more about neoteny and pedomorphism/pedomorphosis(???) Lova Falk talk 05:26, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

In Other Species[edit]

In this section there is a large emphasis on salamanders, however it can be expanded in other species. Also, I viewed some of the sources and there should be more scientific, peer reviewed articles to support the statements regarding neoteny in birds. In many of the other sections there is reference to the views and opionions of a single individual; there should be more scientific statements presented instead the opinions of just one individual. Neoteny, and neotenic traits, in humans can be expanded to include more development. Instead of just listing the traits, you could expand on which ancestors they came from and why those traits were retained.Kmkammer (talk) 10:27, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

The article mentions vertebrates speculatively but does not mention the Larvacea which are considered prime examples of neoteny and the model for the theory that vertebrates result from neoteny. 70.215.4.55 (talk) 22:42, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Add on paedomorphism[edit]

1. Add some classic examples of paedomorphism; where is it seen. 2. Update the definition of paedomorphism. Include the two aspects of paedomorphism. 3. Add how paedomorphism can be said in evolutionary terms. All these could result in a better understanding of neoteny. Better understanding of paedomorphism will help the reader understand neoteny. Bowman.1289 (talk) 22:54, 30 September 2014 (UTC)HannahBowman{wikiprojectevolution}

Missing persons[edit]

Thank you for your informing article. All I miss is people. Not one person is mentioned, allthough there were quite a few people involved in the process of calling something neoteny, doing the necessary research and changing its concept over time.

Agreed. There's no real history here, beyond the implication that Gould is the originator of the term. If he is, then the main source is his 1977 Ontogeny and Phylogeny, and it should be included. In the work, he discusses several evolutionary mechanisms, of which neoteny is one. An article on neoteny without mentioning this book is like a hamburger without any meat. Theonemacduff (talk) 17:53, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
If you know what to add, go to it, and cite the book. A History section would also be welcome, suitably cited. Chiswick Chap (talk) 06:33, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
I've started the section. It would be good to continue with a discussion of the relationship of neoteny to hypermorphosis, but perhaps that belongs in the body of the article. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:38, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Balance[edit]

The article as it now stands is very largely about Neoteny in humans, with little about other animals, the mentions of some groups being a mere afterthought, indeed an afterlist (you'll see what I mean). Clearly, the human story is important to the development of the concept as a whole - in which case, the History section (missing until today) should be substantially developed. Equally, if that is done, the detailed analysis of what neoteny means in humans (as opposed to the history of the main concept) could then be farmed out to a subsidiary article, (Neoteny in humans) and summarised here in a paragraph or two. The coverage of "all other animals" then needs to be extended to describe neoteny's appearance and characteristics in each group where it occurs. I've made a start on these changes. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:47, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Good luck with that. If you can find references that are dated after the 1990s - when people really believed this about domesticated animals - that would be a fine start. Regards,  William Harris |talk  09:34, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I mean animals in general. Chiswick Chap (talk) 10:05, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Tiger Salamander vs Axolotl neoteny[edit]

I've modified the statement about tiger salamanders and added a reference. Axolotls are the "poster child" of neoteny, so we should definitely mention them, but there are numerous neotenic populations of tiger salamanders (see the link I added). I've deleted the mention of "perenibranchiates", as it's even acknowledged as artificial group by Swingle (on page 2), and is more of a description than a clade (like "thecodont"), plus it didn't really serve much purpose other than to throw an undefined large term at the reader. The actual taxonomy of the species used by Swingle is confusing to say the least; he uses the term "axolotl" explicitly, mixed with the scientific name Ambystoma tigrinum, and on page eight talks about "...a very large specimen of Axolotl mexicanum (neotenic larva of Amblystoma tigrinum)...". But he says the specimen came from New Mexico, outside of the axolotl's modern range, and that they spontaneously metamorphosed when he brought them to Yale. I suspect there's some taxonomic confusion going on (not uncommon in old papers), and we should probably remain carefully agnostic about the actual species used in that specific paper. HCA (talk) 19:42, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Domesticated Silver Foxes and neoteny research?[edit]

I was genuinely surprised that this page makes no reference to the research on the domestication of the silver fox which tends to / seems to connect neoteny with domestication and 'tameness', with potential implications for neoteny in humans (which page also doesn't mention the fox research), and possibly the development of prosociality and culture in humans. While some of these connections I mention may be more on the speculative side, surely at least some of the connections discovered by the research are clear enough that mentioning the silver fox research by Dmitry Belyayev and Lyudmila Trut is warranted. Unfortunately, I personally don't know where in the page to place such a mention, nor to what extent, nor whether other more informed Wikipedia editors of this page would even agree that it's relevant. Thus, I decided to simply make a suggestion in this Talk page to see what others think, and perhaps come to a yea/nay consensus on it (or however such decisions are made on Wikipedia), instead of me clumsily barging in and making a mess of things. Cheers! 24.57.106.253 (talk) 13:15, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Excessive prominence for humans[edit]

The 'In humans' section is currently first, giving this one species excessive prominence in an article on a general biological topic. I suggest it be placed further down the article. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:41, 18 July 2018 (UTC)