We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details

Larson, G., Stephens, P.A., Tehrani, J. & Layton, R.H. (2013). Exapting exaptation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28(9): 497-498.

Author(s) from Durham


The term exaptation was introduced to encourage biologists to consider alternatives to adaptation to explain the origins of traits. Here, we discuss why exaptation has proved more successful in technological than biological contexts, and propose a revised definition of exaptation applicable to both genetic and cultural evolution.