divergent evolution

noun

Definition of divergent evolution

: the development of dissimilar traits or features (as of body structure or behavior) in closely related populations, species, or lineages of common ancestry that typically occupy dissimilar environments or ecological niches The finches that Charles Darwin described in the Galapagos Islands are a classic example of divergent evolution. The beaks of different species evolved in response to specific evolutionary forces—different foods available on the various islands.— Henry Fountain

called also divergence

— compare convergent evolution, parallel evolution

First Known Use of divergent evolution

1856, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of divergent evolution was in 1856

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Dictionary Entries Near divergent evolution

divergence

divergency

divergent

divergent evolution

divergingly

diverging meniscus

dive (right) in

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Cite this Entry

“Divergent evolution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divergent%20evolution. Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

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