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.

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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.

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Showcase Topic: Vision in echinoderms

Among brittlestars and sea urchins we find visual systems that in some ways rival the arthropods in the form of compound eye-like structures.

Spotlight on Research:

“Right-handed snakes: convergent evolution of asymmetry for functional specialization”

Masaki Hoso, Takahiro Asami and Michio Hori. Biol. Lett. (2007) 3, 169–172.

Snail-eating snake Pareas iwasakii has asymmetric jaws that work to efficiently extract snail soft-parts from right-coiling shells.