One of the most fascinating scientific problems, and a subject of intense debate, is that of the mechanisms of biological evolution. In this context, Waddington elaborated the concepts of "canalization and assimilation" to explain how an apparently somatic variant induced by stress could become heritable through the germline in Drosophila He resolved this seemingly Lamarckian phenomenon by positing the existence of cryptic mutations that can be expressed and selected under stress. To investigate the relevance of such mechanisms, we performed experiments following the Waddington procedure, then isolated and fixed three phenotypic variants along with another induced mutation that was not preceded by any phenocopy. All the fixed mutations we looked at were actually generated de novo by DNA deletions or transposon insertions, highlighting a novel mechanism for the assimilation process. Our study shows that heat-shock stress produces both phenotypic variants and germline mutations, and suggests an alternative explanation to that of Waddington for the apparent assimilation of an acquired character. The selection of the variants, under stress, for a number of generations allows for the coselection of newly induced corresponding germline mutations, making the phenotypic variants appear heritable.