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Cichlids are one of the cause celebré of evolution, and rightly so because these freshwater fish show a remarkable diversity and exemplify many key aspects of adaptive radiation. But why so successful? The answer lies in the versatility of the jaws (and yes, they are convergent).
Lateral line system in fish and other animals
Some cavefish are completely blind, so how do they manage to navigate through their environment with astonishing ease?
Echolocation in toothed whales and ground-dwelling mammals
Given the extraordinary powers of echolocation in bats, it is not surprising that this group has received the most attention. However, they are not the only mammals to have evolved echolocation. Who invented sonar millions of years before the Navy?
Intelligence and cognition in birds
House sparrows are known to gain access to shopping malls by flying in front of sensors that operate sliding doors, whilst herons have been shown to be adept fishers using baits and lures.
Tool use in birds
What animals can drop stones into a water-filled tube to bring floating food within reach or bend wire to form a hook? Obviously chimpanzees? No, New Caledonian crows have evolved sophisticated tool use too.
Electric fish: insights into convergence
Ever seen an electric eel in an aquarium? Don’t dare putting your hand in the tank...
Dolphin communication, cognition and sociality
Dolphins are one of the most intriguing sources of evolutionary convergence, having cognitive abilities that seem to find many parallels in the great apes, and rather remarkably even extend to tool use.
Sleep in animals
Suffering from insomnia? Fruit flies do as well...
Woodpeckers and woodpecker-like birds and mammals
You think woodpeckers are unique? Consider the ovenbirds. Or even the curious aye-aye.
Ants: insights into convergence
Trap-jaws, silk and agriculture – just a few examples of convergence in the arguably most successful group of insects, the ants…