This website aims to tell you nearly everything you need (and may ever want) to know about convergent evolution. It allows y ou to explore the way that similar adaptive solutions have repeatedly evolved from unrelated starting points on the tree of life, 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.

Follow the Map of Life on Twitter, Facebook or visit our Blog for fresh updates on the incredible world of convergent evolution.

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 page.

Read more about the project...

Showcase Topic: Compound eyes in arthropods

It is clear that amongst the arthropods as a whole the compound eye has evolved at least twice, and possibly even more times.

Spotlight on Research:

“Behavioural evidence for marsupial trichromacy”

C.A. Arrese, L.D. Beazley & C. Neumeyer, Current Biology, volume 16, pages R193-R194.

Trichromatic colour vision amongst mammals was long thought to be unique to primates, but then three spectrally distinct cone types were detected in some marsupials. This article complements physiological studies of photoreceptors by providing behavioural evidence for trichromacy in some of these marsupials.