Dictionary > Convergent evolution

Convergent evolution

Definition
noun
A kind of evolution wherein organisms evolve structures that have similar (analogous) structures or functions in spite of their evolutionary ancestors being very dissimilar or unrelated
Supplement
Convergent evolution refers to the kind of evolution wherein organisms evolve (analogous) structures or functions in spite of their evolutionary ancestors being very dissimilar or unrelated. Analogous structures pertain to those structures of unrelated (different) organisms having the same function but differing anatomical features. Because analogous structures differ in anatomy as well as developmental origin they do not implicate a common ancestral origin. The features or traits common in them evolve independently.
Examples are as follows:

Also called:

  • convergence (evolutionary biology)
  • Compare:

    See also:

  • analogy
  • analogous structures
  • evolution