Convergence in Evolution: Links

When different organisms independently evolve very similar characteristics in adaptation to similar environments, this is known as convergent evolution.

On the web

Examples of convergent evolution:

Examples from biology online

  • the wings of bats, birds, and insects evolved independently from each other but all are used to perform the function of flying
  • the complex eyes of vertebrates, cephalopods (squid and octopus), cubozoan jellyfish, and arthropods (insects, spiders, crustaceans) evolved separately, but all perform the function of vision
  • the smelling organs of the terrestrial coconut crab are similar to those of insects
  • the very similar shells of brachiopods and bivalve molluscs
  • prickles, thorns and spines have evolved independently to prevent or limit herbivory
  • plant hormones such as gibberellin and abscisic acid of plants and fungi

On the web