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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…
Foam nests in animals
Nests crop up everywhere, but one made out of foam? Might not sound like a great idea, but it is. And no surprise, it has evolved several times...
Bats: Insights into convergence
Bats show a fascinating array of convergences, from echolocation to flight to nectar feeding. Vampire bats can even detect infrared radiation, while others might be able to see into the ultraviolet end of the spectrum.
Infrared detection in insects
Whilst infrared detection is probably best known in the snakes (where it has evolved twice), in point of fact in terms of convergence the insects provide by far the most striking example.
Sap feeding and honey-dew production in insects
Interestingly, it has now been shown that the saliva of the aphids has an analogue to the anti-coagulant properties of blood suckers, subverting the wound repair mechanism of the plant.
Strepsipterans: convergent halteres and eyes
Strepsipteran females spend their whole life inside a wasp. The males are rather more exciting, particularly in terms of convergence…
Beetles: insights into convergence
The beetles are probably the most diverse animal group on earth, so it is not at all surprising that they provide many fascinating insights into convergence.