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Vestigial structures have lost their ancestral function. These structures are often reduced in size when compared to functioning versions in related species. Vestigial structures are an important piece of evidence for evolution and speciation because they provide a link to an ancestral trait.

A vestigial structure will remain in the population unless


a mutation leads to its removal and natural selection favors individuals without the structure.


individuals in the population choose to remove structure.


it becomes too large.


it is not needed.

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