Dinosaurs, Chameleons, Humans, and Evo‐Devo Path: Linking Étienne Geoffroy's Teratology, Waddington's Homeorhesis, Alberch's Logic of “Monsters,” and Goldschmidt Hopeful “Monsters”

Nov 1, 2016

Since the rise of evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) in the 1980s, few authors have attempted to combine the increasing knowledge obtained from the study of model organisms and human medicine with data from comparative anatomy and evolutionary biology in order to investigate the links between development, pathology, and macroevolution. Fortunately, this situation is slowly changing, with a renewed interest in evolutionary developmental pathology (evo-devo-path) in the past decades, as evidenced by the idea to publish this special, and very timely, issue on “Developmental Evolution in Biomedical Research.” As all of us have recently been involved, independently, in works related in some way or another with evolution and developmental anomalies, we decided to join our different perspectives and backgrounds in the present contribution for this special issue. Specifically, we provide a brief historical account on the study of the links between evolution, development, and pathologies, followed by a review of the recent work done by each of us, and then by a general discussion on the broader developmental and macroevolutionary implications of our studies and works recently done by other authors. Our primary aims are to highlight the strength of studying developmental anomalies within an evolutionary framework to understand morphological diversity and disease by connecting the recent work done by us and others with the research done and broader ideas proposed by authors such as Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Waddington, Goldschmidt, Gould, and Per Alberch, among many others to pave the way for further and much needed work regarding abnormal development and macroevolution.