convergent evolution


Definition of convergent evolution

: the independent development of similar traits or features (as of body structure or behavior) in unrelated or distantly related species or lineages that typically occupy similar environments or ecological niches The remarkable resemblance of these moths to hummingbirds is a case of convergent evolution. Both are after the same thing: nectar deep within tubular flowers that lack "landing pads."— Dan Gill In some cases, a taxon is composed of the descendants of unrelated ancestors that evolved similar features by convergent evolution and for this reason have been mistaken as relatives.— Douglas J. Futuyma

called also convergence

— compare analogy, divergent evolution, parallel evolution

First Known Use of convergent evolution

1898, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of convergent evolution was in 1898

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Cite this Entry

“Convergent evolution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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