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body plan

Monday 6 March 2017


See also : body / organism / animal

Definition: A body plan is "an assemblage of morphological features shared among many members of a phylum-level group".

The vertebrate body plan is one of many: invertebrates consist of many phyla.

This term, usually applied to animals , envisages a "blueprint" encompassing aspects such as symmetry , segmentation and limb disposition.

Evolutionary developmental biology seeks to explain the origins of diverse body plans.

Body plans have historically been considered to have evolved in a flash in the Cambrian explosion, but a more nuanced understanding of animal evolution suggests the gradual development of body plans throughout the early palaeozoic era.