Neoteny is the retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles, and is a field studied - you at the back, stop talking - is a field studied in developmental biology. In neoteny, the development of an animal, organism or squiggly thing is - I said stop talking - is slowed or delayed. Ultimately this process results in the retention of juvenile characteristics well into - switch that off and face the front - well into maturity.
In vertebrate biology, neoteny is most easily identified when sexually mature - stop giggling - sexually mature - I won't tell you again - sexually mature juveniles or larva are found. Specific individual traits that appear childlike, such as increased capacity to learn, sparse body hair and collecting action figures may be - I hope you've brought enough for everybody - may be considered neotenous.
edit Neoteny in evolution
Neoteny is very important in evolotion. It allows animals to act like n00bs but actually be pros. Neoteny happens when the genes responsible for mutation become inactive, thereby keeping the animal in its n00b form. Normally, like, being more n00bish would be a disadvantage, but sometimes environmental changes happen which make being a n00b evolutionarily good. Like if there's a totally underpowered class like a Pally which only a n00b would take, and there's a patch released that makes that class good, and then being a n00b for a bit would help.
Examples of neoteny include dogs, dodos, goblins, and humans. These are recognisable by their lack of flying ability, lack of hair and weak strength levels. For example, dwarves are stronger, have lots of body hair and stop growing earlier, compared to humans, proving that humans are a kind of dwarf.
edit Neoteny in humans
It has been debatted wether neteony affects people. Some people say it does, some people say it doesn't, we just don't know at the moment. Humans have a lot of similaritys to the chimps, a kind of monkey. Some people say that the baldness of humans is like baby chimps, but my dad's balder than me and he's more like a gorilla than a baby chimp. And my grannys way older than my dad but she's like a baby cos she's small and always peeing herself, so that could be neteony too.
There are many things that people have said that might be caused by neteony in people. These are a higher level of inteligense and cuirrosity comppared to our nearest relatives, (specialy uncle Stan) and bigger boobies and bum on women. Teacher's only got a big bum, so she's half-neteonuos. Mister Keller the Janitors got a big bum and boobies, but he's a man so I don't know what to think about that. Mister McCock the PE teacher hasn't got a big bum or boobies but he's always talking about them when hes watching us get changed, so you could say that he's cuirrous.
edit Example of human neoteny
- want ball want ball want ball want ball wanna wanna wanna wanna wanna
- need a wee
- really need a wee
- done a wee
- done a poo
- want real daddy not steve not steve not steve hate steve hate steve