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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...
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).
Thanatosis (feigning death) in spiders and insects
Beetles that "play possum"? A rather interesting example of convergence…
Compound eyes in arthropods
It is clear that amongst the arthropods as a whole the compound eye has evolved at least twice, and possibly even more times.
Camera-like eyes in arthropods
Arthropods are famous for their compound eyes, but some groups have had a fair crack at evolving the optically superior camera eye…
Silk production and use in arthropods
Remarkably, fossil silk is known, especially from amber of Cretaceous age. Material includes both silk with trapped insects, possibly from an orb-web, and strands with the characteristic viscid droplets that are the key in trapping prey.
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.
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…
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…
Octopus and other cephalopods: convergence with vertebrates
What could be more different from us than the alien-like octopus? Hold on. Look it in the eye and think again.