(SOO.doh.eks.ting.shun) n. The evolution of a species into a different species. Also: pseudo-extinction.

Example Citation:
The technoprophets have made a persuasive case ... That we will soon be able to leave humanness behind. ... We would vnish in what the genetic enthusiast Gregory Stock calls a "pseudo-extinction," "spawning our own successors by fast-forwarding our evolution."
—Bill McKibben, "Enough," Times Books, April 2003

Earliest Citation:
Lamarck then proceeded to extract more from modern trigonians to buttress other pet themes. He was, for example, a partisan at the wrong end of a great debate resolved a decade later to his disadvantage by Cuvier (see my column of June 1982)—does extinction occur in nature? Human rapacity, Lamarck believed, might exterminate some conspicous beasts, but the ways of nature do not include termination without descent (Lamarck, as a transmutationist, obviously accepted the pseudoextinction that occurs when one form evolves into another).
—Stephen Jay Gould, "Nasty little facts," Natural History, February 1985

Related Words: