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theoretical morphologytheoretische Morphologie (ger.)

  • In evolutionary studies, analysis of the differences between all the forms an organism might have and those which have actually existed. By revealing unfilled regions of morphospace the technique may suggest constraints. (Oxford Dict. of Earth Science 2008)

    The term dédoublement originated, we believe, with two Montpellier botanists of well-deserved reputation, who have paid much attention to theoretical morphology

    Hooker, W.J. (1849). [Rev. Sprague, I. & Gray, A. (1849). Gernera floræ americæ boreali-orientalis illustrate, vol. 2]. Hooker’s Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany 1, 353-361: 357-8.


    Die wichtigsten Erscheinungscomplexe, welche die theoretische Morphologie zu behandeln hat, sind […]: Erstens die rudimentären und abortirten Organe, zweitens der Funktionswechsel der Organe, drittens die Homologieen und viertens die Entwickelungsgeschichte.

    Potonié, H. (1881). Ueber das Verhältniss der Morphologie zur Physiologie. Kosmos 9, 95-100: 100.


    it seems as if his [viz. Dr. Weinberg’s] confidence in his theoretical Morphology blinds him to every fact which conflicts with this.

    Carpenter, W.B. (1884). On the nervous system of the Crinoidea. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. 37, 67-76: 74.


    Die Morphologie sondert sich 1. in die Organographie und 2. in die Wissenschaft von den Homologieen: Morphologie im engeren Sinne, theoretische Morphologie.

    Potonié, H. (1886). Illustrierte Flora von Nord-und Mittel-Deutschland mit einer Einführung in die Botanik: 3; id. (1889). Elemente der Botanik: 113.

    This question of the possibility of a »theoretical« morphology of living things, after the fashion of the morphology of crystals with their sixteen possible types, was raised in later years by K. G. Carus, Bronn, and Haeckel.
    Russell, E.S. (1916). Form and Function (Chicago 1982): 33.