This website aims to tell you nearly everything you need (and may ever want) to know about convergent evolution. It allows you to explore the way that similar adaptive solutions have repeatedly evolved from unrelated starting points, as though following a metaphorical ‘map’.
We have identified hundreds of examples of convergence, so if you want to learn about convergence in sex (e.g. love-darts), eyes (e.g. camera-eyes in jellyfish), agriculture (e.g. in ants) or gliding (e.g. in lizards and mammals) then this is your best port of call.
Any of the information presented in the Map of Life may be freely reproduced, as long as it is acknowledged fully. Citation details can be found at the bottom of each Topic, in the format: Map of Life – “Topic title”, Topic web page address, Month/Year downloaded
Showcase Topic: Electric fish: insights into convergence
Spotlight on Research:
“Caterpillar talk: Acoustically mediated territoriality in larval Lepidoptera”
J.E. Yack, M.L. Smith & P.J. Weatherhead 2001, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, volume 98, pages 11371-11375.
Vibrational signalling is amazingly widespread in insects and has evidently evolved multiple times in this group. The functions of insect vibrations are manifold, and this paper shows that caterpillars of the common hook-tip moth (Drepana arcuata) employ them in competitive interactions. These caterpillars are territorial and engage in ritualised vibrational “duels” to defend a silk nest site on a leaf from conspecific intruders.