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Encyclopedia > Relict

The term relict is used to refer to surviving remnants of natural phenomena. Compare relic which is used to refer to human artifacts or remains.


In biology a relict is an organism that at an earlier time was abundant in a large area but is now occurring at only one or a few small areas. The distribution of a relict is characterized as endemic. The tuatara is an example of a relict. It now lives only on a few small islands off New Zealand. The term "relict" can also refer to an ancient species that survives while related species go extinct. The horseshoe crab is an example of this type of relict. Horseshoe crabs are most closely related to the Eurypterids, which disappeared in the Permian-Triassic extinction event.


In geology, the term "relict" refers to structures or minerals from a parent rock that did not undergo metamorphosis when the surrounding rock did, or to rock that survived a destructive geologic process. For example, the wavy patterns often seen in marble are relicts of layering in the original limestone.


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relict - definition of relict in Encyclopedia (206 words)
In biology a relict is an organism that at an earlier time was abundant in a large area but is now occurring at only one or a few small areas.
The distribution of a relict is characterized as endemic.
In geology, the term "relict" refers to structures or minerals from a parent rock that did not undergo metamorphosis when the surrounding rock did, or to rock that survived a destructive geologic process.
Relict Trillium (Trillium reliquum) Species Profile (809 words)
Relict trillium is one of the first trillium species in Georgia and South Carolina to appear in the early spring (NatureServe 2003).
Relict trillium is a perennial herb with 3 mottled leaves at the top of an S-shaped, somewhat decumbent stem, approximately 5 to 25 cm in length, often with the leaf whorl resting on the leaf litter (Patrick et.
The bract shape in relict trillium, however, is elliptic with a convex outline from the middle to the apex.
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