Chapter 16. Canalization and Malleability Reconsidered

The Developmental Basis of Phenotypic Stability and Variability

  1. Kathryn E. Hood2,
  2. Carolyn Tucker Halpern3,
  3. Gary Greenberg4 and
  4. Richard M. Lerner5
  1. Robert Lickliter and
  2. Christopher Harshaw

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327632.ch16

Handbook of Developmental Science, Behavior, and Genetics

Handbook of Developmental Science, Behavior, and Genetics

How to Cite

Lickliter, R. and Harshaw, C. (2010) Canalization and Malleability Reconsidered, in Handbook of Developmental Science, Behavior, and Genetics (eds K. E. Hood, C. T. Halpern, G. Greenberg and R. M. Lerner), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327632.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 2

    The Pennsylvania State University, USA

  2. 3

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

  3. 4

    Wichita State University, USA

  4. 5

    Tufts University, USA

Author Information

  1. Florida International University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 13 SEP 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405187824

Online ISBN: 9781444327632



  • canalization and malleability reconsidered - phenotypic stability and variability on developmental basis;
  • stability and variability of phenotypes - within and across generations of given species;
  • rise of evolutionary developmental biology;
  • paradigmatic shift in thinking - within biological sciences;
  • reformulation of species-typical behavior;
  • bidirectional influence of organismic and environmental factors - in early development;
  • change from free-living to species captivity - and changes in shelter availability and other factors;
  • malleability of species-typical behavior;
  • canalization and malleability - two sides of phenotypic development;
  • organism–environment system


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • The Rise of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

  • A Reformulation of Species-Typical Behavior

  • The Significance of Behavioral Malleability

  • The Illustrative Case of Filial Imprinting

  • Further Explorations of the Malleability of Species-Typical Behavior

  • The Organism–Environment System

  • Concluding Remarks

  • References