Neoteny (/niˈɒtəni/), also called juvenilization, is the delaying or slowing of the physiological (or somatic) development of an organism, typically an animal. Neoteny is found in modern humans. In progenesis (also called paedogenesis), sexual development is accelerated. Both neoteny and progenesis result in paedomorphism (or paedomorphosis), a type of heterochrony. Some authors define paedomorphism as the retention of larval traits, as seen in salamanders. Both neoteny and progenesis cause the retention in adults of traits previously seen only in the young. Such retention is important in evolutionary biology, domestication and evolutionary developmental biology.
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