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Encyclopedia > Convergent evolution

In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related, independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. On a molecular level, this can happen due to random mutation unrelated to adaptive changes; see long branch attraction. Image File history File links Circle-contradict. ... Bee hovering in flight In evolutionary biology, parallel evolution refers to the independent evolution of similar traits in closely related lineages of species, while convergent evolution refers to the appearance of striking similarities among lineages of organisms only very distantly related. ... Evolutionary biology is a subfield of biology concerned with the origin and descent of species, as well as their change, multiplication, and diversity over time. ... Two lichenes species on a rock, in two different ecological niches In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ... Long branch attraction (LBA) is a phenomenon in phylogenetic analyses (most commonly those employing maximum parsimony) when rapidly evolving lineages are inferred to be closely related, regardless of their true evolutionary relationships. ...


In cultural evolution, convergent evolution is the development of similar cultural adaptations to similar environmental conditions by different peoples with different ancestral cultures. Cultural evolution is the structural change of a society and its values over time. ...


An example of convergent evolution is the similar nature of the flight/wings of insects, birds, pterosaurs, and bats. All four serve the same function and are similar in structure, but each evolved independently. Some aspects of the lens of eyes also evolved independently in various animals. A Laughing Gull with its wings extended in a gull wing profile Aircraft wing planform shapes: a swept wing KC-10 Extender (top) refuels a trapezoid-wing F/A-22 Raptor A wing is a surface used to produce lift and therefore flight, for travel in the air or another... Orders See taxonomy Insects (Class Insecta) are a major group of arthropods and the most diverse group of animals on the Earth, with over a million described species—more than all other animal groups combined. ... “Aves” redirects here. ... Suborders Rhamphorhynchoidea Pterodactyloidea Pterosaurs (TEH-row-sore, winged lizards) were flying reptiles of the clade Pterosauria. ... “Chiroptera” redirects here. ... Eyes are organs of vision that detect light. ...


Convergent evolution is similar to, but distinguishable from, the phenomena of evolutionary relay and parallel evolution. Evolutionary relay refers to independent species acquiring similar characteristics through their evolution in similar ecosystems, but not at the same time (e.g. dorsal fins of extinct ichthyosaurs and sharks). Parallel evolution occurs when two independent species evolve together at the same time in the same ecospace and acquire similar characteristics (extinct browsing-horses and extinct paleotheres). In evolutionary biology, evolutionary relay describes how independent species acquire similar characteristics as a result of their evolution in similar ecosystems, but not at the same time. ... Bee hovering in flight In evolutionary biology, parallel evolution refers to the independent evolution of similar traits in closely related lineages of species, while convergent evolution refers to the appearance of striking similarities among lineages of organisms only very distantly related. ... Dorsal Fin of the Orca A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of fishes, whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Families Ichthyosauridae Leptonectidae Mixosauridae Ophthalmosauridae Shastasauridae Stenopterygiidae Teretocnemidae Ichthyosaurs (Greek for fish lizard - ιχθυς meaning fish and σαυρος meaning lizard) were giant marine reptiles that resembled fish and dolphins. ... Orders Carcharhiniformes Heterodontiformes Hexanchiformes Lamniformes Orectolobiformes Pristiophoriformes Squaliformes Squatiniformes Symmoriida(extinct) Shark (superorder Selachimorpha) are fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton[1] and a streamlined body. ... The word ecology is often used in common parlance as a synonym for the natural environment or environmentalism. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ... // The original sequence of species believed to have evolved into the horse were based on fossils discovered in North America in the 1870s by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. ... Species  ?  ?  ? Palaeotherium (old beast) is an extinct genus of mammal. ...


Structures that are the result of convergent evolution are called analogous structures or homoplasies; they should be contrasted with homologous structures, which have a common origin. The wings of pterosaurs (1), bats (2) and birds (3) are analogous: they serve the same function and are similar in structure, but each evolved independently. ... In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related, independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. ... In biology, homology is any similarity between structures that is due to their shared ancestry. ...

Contents

Animal examples

Mammals
  • Several mammal groups have independently evolved prickly protrusions of the skin, called spines - echidnas (monotremes), hedgehogs (insectivores), Old World porcupines (rodents) and New World porcupines (a separate group of rodents). In this case, because the two groups of porcupines are relatively closely related, they would be considered to be an example of parallel evolution; neither echidnas nor hedgehogs, however, are closely related to rodents at all. In fact, the last common ancestor of all four groups was a contemporary of the dinosaurs.
  • Cat-like, sabre-toothed predators evolved in three distinct lineages of mammals — sabre-toothed cats, Nimravids (false sabre-tooths), and the marsupial thylacosmilids. Gorgonopsids and creodonts also developed long canines, but that is the only physical similarity.
  • A number of mammals have developed claws and long, sticky tongues that allow them to open the homes of social insects (e.g. ants and termites) and eat them. These include the four species of anteater, about 20 species of armadillo, eight species of pangolin, the African aardvark, four species of echidna, and the Australian numbat.
  • Koalas of Australasia have evolved fingerprints, very similar to those of humans. The Australian honey possum has developed a long tongue for taking nectar from flowers, the same sort of structure that butterflies possess to accomplish the same task.
Birds
Other
  • The similarities in diet and activity patterns between the thorny devil (Moloch horridus) and the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) both in different clades.
  • The Neotropical poison dart frog and the Mantella of Madagascar have independently developed similar mechanisms for obtaining alkaloids from a diet of ants and storing the toxic chemicals in skin glands. They have also independently evolved similar bright skin colors that warn predators of their toxicity–(by the opposite of crypsis, namely aposematism).
  • Assassin spiders are a group comprising two lineages that evolved independently. They have very long necks and fangs proportionately larger than thaose of any other spider, and hunt other spiders by snagging them from a distance.
  • The smelling organs of the terrestrial coconut crab are similar to those of insects.
  • The prehistoric fish-like reptile Ophthalmosaurus and the aquatic mammal Dolphins and Tuna
  • The brachiopods and bivalve molluscs, which both have very similar shells

Binomial name Nannopterum harrisi (Rothschild, 1898) The Flightless Cormorant, Nannopterum harrisi, is a cormorant native to the Galapagos Islands. ... NASA Satellite photo of the Galápagos archipelago. ... For other uses, see Cormorant (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Moloch horridus Gray, 1841 The Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus) is also known as the Thorny Dragon, Thorny Lizard, or the Moloch. ... Binomial name Phrynosoma cornutum (Harlan, 1825) The Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) is one of 14 North American species of spikey-bodied reptiles called horned lizards. ... Greek clados = branch) or phylogenetic systematics is a branch of biology that determines the evolutionary relationships of living things based on derived similarities. ... The Neotropic ecozone is a terrestrial ecoregion which includes South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. ... {{Taxobox | color = aqua | name = Poison arrow frogs | image = Dendrobates pumilio. ... Species See text. ... Diagram of Ephedrine An alkaloid, strictly speaking, is a naturally-occurring amine produced by a plant,[1] but amines produced by animals and fungi are also called alkaloids. ... Subfamilies Aenictogitoninae Agroecomyrmecinae Amblyoponinae (incl. ... Crypsis is a phenomena where an organisms appearance allows it to blend well into its environment. ... The bright colours of this Yellow-winged Darter dragonfly serve as a warning to predators of its noxious taste. ... Assassin spider with a victim. ... Binomial name Birgus latro Linnaeus, 1767 Coconut crab distribution The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. ... Had extraordinarily large eyes. ... This article is about the dolphin mammal. ... A shoal of skipjack tuna Tuna are several species of ocean-dwelling fish in the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. ... Classes Lingulata Paterinata (extinct) Craniforma Chileata (extinct) Obolellata (extinct) Kutorginata (extinct) Strophomenata (extinct) Rhynchonellata Brachiopods (from Latin bracchium, arm + New Latin -poda, foot) make up one of the major animal phyla, Brachiopoda. ... Orders Subclass Protobranchia Solemyoida Nuculoida Subclass Pteriomorphia - oysters Arcoida Mytiloida Pterioida Subclass Paleoheterodonta - mussels Trigoinoida Unionoida Subclass Heterodonta - clams, zebra mussels Veneroida Myoida Subclass Anomalosdesmata Pholadomyoida Animals of the Class Bivalvia are known as bivalves because they typically have two-part shells, with both parts being more or less symmetrical. ...

Plant examples

  • Prickles, thorns and spines are all modified plant tissues that have evolved to prevent or limit herbivory, these structures have evolved independently a number of times.
  • The aerial rootlets found in ivy (Hedera) are similar to those of the Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris) and some other vines. These rootlets are not derived from a common ancestor but have the same function of clinging to whatever support is available.
  • Many Euphorbia and Cactaceae species occur in hot, dry environments and have similar modifications (see picture below).

Biochemical/molecular examples

Carbonic anhydrase (carbonate dehydratase) is a family of metalloenzymes (enzymes that contain one or more metal atoms as a functional component of the enzyme) that catalyze the rapid interconversion of carbon dioxide and water into carbonic acid, protons, and bicarbonate ions. ... Look up Z, z in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Binomial name Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758 Asian Elephant range The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus), sometimes known by the name of its nominate subspecies (the Indian Elephant), is one of the three living species of elephant, and the only living species of the genus Elephas. ... Superfamilies Butterflies Hesperioidea Papilionoidea Moths Acanthopteroctetoidea Alucitoidea Axioidea Bombycoidea Calliduloidea Choreutoidea Cossoidea Drepanoidea Epermenioidea Eriocranioidea Galacticoidea Gelechioidea Geometroidea Gracillarioidea Hedyloidea Hepialoidea Heterobathmioidea Hyblaeoidea Immoidea Incurvarioidea Lasiocampoidea Lophocoronoidea Micropterigoidea Mimallonoidea Mnesarchaeoidea Neopseustoidea Nepticuloidea Noctuoidea Palaephatoidea Pterophoroidea Pyraloidea Schreckensteinioidea Sesioidea Simaethistoidea Thyridoidea Tineoidea Tischerioidea Tortricoidea Urodoidea Whalleyanoidea Yponomeutoidea Zygaenoidea The order Lepidoptera... Three amino acid residues found inside the active site of certain proteases. ... Crystal structure of Trypsin, a typical serine protease. ... Subtilisin is a proteolytic enzyme obtained from . ... Prokaryotes (pro-KAR-ee-oht) (from Old Greek pro- before + karyon nut or kernel, referring to the cell nucleus, + suffix -otos, pl. ... Chymotrypsin (bovine γ chymotrypsin: PDB 1AB9, EC 3. ... Kingdoms Animalia - Animals Fungi Plantae - Plants Protista Alternative Phylogeny Unikonta    Opisthokonta    Amoebozoa Bikonta    Apusozoa    Cabozoa       Rhizaria       Excavata    Corticata       Archaeplastida       Chromalveolata Animals, plants, fungi, and protists are eukaryotes (IPA: ), organisms with a complex cell or cells, where the genetic material is organized into a membrane-bound nucleus or nuclei. ... // Original Discovery In 1975 a team of Japanese scientists discovered a strain of Flavobacterium living in ponds containing waste water from a factory producing nylon that was capable of digesting certain byproducts of nylon-6 manufacture, such as, 6-aminohexanoate linear dimer, even though those byproducts had not existed prior... Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges. ... Species group P. aeruginosa P. alcaligenes P. anguilliseptica P. argentinensis P. citronellolis P. flavescens P. mendocina P. nitroreducens P. oleovorans P. pseudoalcaligenes P. resinovorans P. straminea group P. aurantiaca P. aureofaciens P. chlororaphis P. fragi P. lundensis P. taetrolens group P. antarctica P. azotoformans P. cedrina P. corrugata P. fluorescens...

References


Topics in evolutionary ecology
v  d  e
Patterns of evolution: Convergent evolutionEvolutionary relayParallel evolution
Colour and shape: AposematismMimicryCrypsis
Interactions between species: Mutualism • Cooperation • PredationParasitism

  Results from FactBites:
 
Evolution: Library: Convergent Evolution (383 words)
This illustration shows an example of convergent evolution in four different animals from around the globe.
This is a dramatic example of convergent evolution, when organisms that aren't closely related evolve similar traits as they both adapt to similar environments.
Convergent evolution is responsible for the wings of the bat, the bird, and the pterodactyl.
Convergent evolution Summary (1382 words)
Convergent evolution is a term used to describe similarities in organisms that are evolutionarily unrelated.
Convergent evolution is similar to, but distinguishable from, the phenomena of evolutionary relay and parallel evolution.
The similar evolution of auks in the Northern Hemisphere and penguins in the Southern Hemisphere.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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