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Limblessness in lizards
What's that slithering towards you? A snake? Look more closely, look convergently...
Gliding in feathered reptiles
A number of reptile species have been discovered in the Mesozoic fossil record, bearing feathers that were apparently used to support gliding locomotion, rather than true, powered flight as we see in present day birds.
Gliding mammals rely primarily on extensive skin membranes or ‘patagia’ that stretch between fore- and hind-limbs, creating a wing-like structure.
In the reptiles, different forms of skin membrane (called ‘patagia’) and in some extinct species, primitive feathers, have evolved convergently as adaptations for gliding.
Sand-dwelling (psammophilous) lizard ecomorphs
Desert sand dunes represent an extreme environmental setting in which selective forces have apparently generated dune ‘ecomorphs’ in six lizard families. – Lamb et al. (2003) Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 73, p. 253
Sabre-toothed cats and marsupials
Marsupials with giant fangs? Yes, not all of the extinct sabre-toothed cats were actually cats…
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…
Worm-like body form
Man is but a worm, but so are many other vertebrates...
Burrowing: from worms to vertebrates
Quite a few adaptations are useful for burrowing into the soil. So it is not exactly surprising that they have evolved several times...