Transformation of Lamarck Principle

what is the Transformation of Lamarck Principle: Let us know about the Transformation of Lamarck Principle. Lamarck’s theory of transformationalism is a set of principles and knowledge formulated by Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet Chevalier de Lamarck in 1802, to explain the evolution of life.

Lamarck was a French naturalist who lived between 1744 and 1829. His work as a naturalist included important research on the natural sciences and history, which led him to formulate the first theory of biological evolution to find answers about organisms. He also established the paleontology of invertebrates to study the past of fossils.

The Lamarck theory, also known as Lamarckismo, states that the great diversity of organisms is not, as previously believed, “always the same” but that living beings tend to be very simple forms that change over time.

This means that they evolve or change to adapt to the environment in which they live. As the physical environment changes, living beings acquire new needs that generate transferable modifications from one generation to the next. 

their investigation

  • Living organisms are organized bodies produced by nature through large time periods on Earth.
  • The simplest forms of life arise continuously.
  • Life, whether animal or plant, in its continuous development, gradually develops more specialized and diverse organs.
  • Every organism has the reproductive and regenerative capacity of living beings.
  • Over time, the conditions give rise to the diversity of life due to changes in the earth and the assimilation of different maintenance habits of the organisms.
  • The products of that diversity are “species” that catalyze change in the organization of living bodies. (O’Neill, 2013)

Lamarck argued that, given nature, the existence of many different forms and habits among animals is undeniable. This diversity allows us to consider the myriad circumstances in which the creatures of each group of organisms (or breeds) have responded to changes in order to satisfy their needs. 

With these premises he formulated two basic laws:

  • In all animals the repeated use of their organs strengthens their functions while their continued use weakens their power until they disappear.
  • Genetics is responsible for perpetuating through future generations what organized bodies have had to experience to meet their needs in the face of changes in their environment.

logic of your investigation

Circumstances create needs, these create habits, habits create modifications by the use of certain organs or functions or genetics is in charge of maintaining those modifications.

The virtues of each generation come from their own internal efforts and their new abilities are inherited by their descendants. 

Examples that illustrate the principles of this theory 

Example 1

Originally, giraffes had a neck similar to that of a horse. They usually live in areas where drought is frequent, therefore, the need to obtain the water reserves of the plants led to the habit of feeding on the tender buds of the treetops.

Over time, several generations of giraffes were needed to meet this need, leading to modifications in the length of their necks.

The giraffes with the longest necks passed this trait on to their descendants, and each generation was born with a longer neck than their ancestors. This process continued until the neck of the giraffe reached the current length. 

Example 2

Transformation of Lamarck Principle
Transformation of Lamarck Principle

Due to prolonged droughts, low-level rivers do not make it easy for a volcanic elephant to bathe. Nor is it possible for this huge animal to reach the water of a small well with its mouth. For this, successive generations developed a long trunk to drink and refresh their bodies.

Example 3

Iguanas are slow and feed on insects that are very agile, moved by the need to feed themselves, with successive generations rapidly developing the independent use of their eyes to capture their food.

Example 4

Another example of evolution is the defense mechanism to avoid the feeding of many animals. In their struggle for survival, they develop physical changes that frighten their predators. Such is the case of the puffer fish, which, in the presence of the enemy, inflates its body. Inherited animal habits, in this way, are infinitesimal in nature.

Example 5

The birds adapt, generation after generation, the shape of their beaks and feet to better manipulate the types of branches they need to build their nests according to their corresponding habitat. (, 2013)

zoological philosophy

In 1809 Lamarck published a book called Zoological Philosophy which was well known in France and England, but its principles were not taken into account in his time.

His approach had opponents such as August Weissmann (German evolutionary theorist), who attempted to discard the theory of Lamarckism. They cut the tails of successive generations of rats to show that their descendants were not born without tails. In fact, the new generation was born with the tail inherited from their parents. This was a misinterpretation of Lamarck’s theory.

In the first, the act of biting the tail was unnatural (it was not created by nature). Second, for the rats in captivity, it was a circumstance that did not instill the habits in those rats to sustain the life they need. Therefore, it did not produce changes in genetics that, in time, were transmitted to their descendants. (Beale, 2016)

Despite its detractors, even today, a section of members of the scientific community consider it important to study in detail Lamarck’s theory of biological evolution.

The basis of Lamarckism is usually summarized as “the inheritance of acquired characters”. This means that species descend from each other and new generations are gradually more complex and better adapted to the environment than the previous ones. (Richard W. Burkhart, 2013)

Scroll to Top