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Flying through the air on a summer's evening or sparkling in the ocean you may see magical flashes of light that signal some of nature's most enchanting creatures, those that are bioluminescent.
Vibrational communication in insects and spiders
Some spiders have evolved a most remarkable method of capturing other spiders – they imitate the vibrations of insects caught in their victim’s web. And this is only one of numerous intriguing examples of vibrational communication in arthropods…
Electrolocation and electrocommunication in weakly electric fish
Fish have eyes, but they live in a much more complex sensory world, where even electricity plays a surprising - and convergent - role.
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).
Vibrational communication in animals
What on earth could an elephant or treehoppers have in common with a seismometer?
Beak structures in reptiles and birds
Among reptile taxa with beak structures, we find several cases of convergent evolution, for example between turtles, Uromastyx lizards, a number of herbivorous dinosaurs and the tuatara (Sphenodon) of New Zealand.
Thanatosis (feigning death) in spiders and insects
Beetles that "play possum"? A rather interesting example of convergence…
Nuptial gifts in insects and spiders
Male dance flies lure females with a dead insect. Not very romantic, you might think, but it certainly does the trick. Hence, such nuptial gifts have evolved in numerous other arthropods...
Camera eyes in cubozoan jellyfish
On each of the four club-like extensions (rhopalia) near the base of the cubozoan jellyfish bell there are two camera-eyes, one pointing upwards and the other downwards.
Biological uses of silk: from webs to ballooning
What material is so versatile that it can be used for capturing prey, building nests, communication and even cleaning? The answer: that most remarkable of biomaterials - silk.
Birds: insights into convergence
Intriguing ecological and morphological parallels can be found among the Neoaves. Many of these forms were initially believed to be each other's closest relatives, but are now widely recognised as classic examples of convergence. Think how similar swifts and swallows are, but they are only distantly related.
Electric fish: insights into convergence
Ever seen an electric eel in an aquarium? Don’t dare putting your hand in the tank...
Sleep in animals
Suffering from insomnia? Fruit flies do as well...
Love darts in slugs, snails and annelid worms
The curious habit of stabbing their partners with sharp calcareous (or chitinous) darts during courtship and prior to actual copulation has understandably attracted considerable attention.