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Monochromacy in mammals
Underwater environments are dominated by blue light. Ironically, whales and seals cannot see blue, because they have independently lost their short-wavelength opsins.
Echolocation in birds: oilbirds and swiftlets
The best known example of echolocating birds are the South American oilbirds (Steatornis caripensis), so called because their flesh yields abundant oil.
Autumn leaf colouration
Autumn colours are likely to be adaptive, as the 'default' is simply to remain green up to leaf fall, and both red and yellow leaf colouration have evolved independently on many occasions in gymnosperms and woody angiosperms.
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.
Trichromatic vision in mammals
Who has not enjoyed the splash of colour in a market: gorgeous red peppers, the green of basil and what on earth are these purple vegetables over there? All thanks to trichromatic vision, another story of convergence.
Loss of olfactory capacity in primates and cetaceans
It is widely thought that reduced olfactory capacity in apes is linked to the development of acute vision, especially trichromacy.
Vision in echinoderms
Among brittlestars and sea urchins we find visual systems that in some ways rival the arthropods in the form of compound eye-like structures.
Compound eyes in sabellid annelids
Compound eyes have evolved convergently in the annelids, notably amongst the sabellids, where they evidently serve as an optical alarm system.
Camera eyes in alciopid annelids
There is a striking example in the group known as the alciopids, which are pelagic polychaetes. The similarity of their camera eye to the vertebrate eye has attracted considerable comment.
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…
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…
Camera eyes of cephalopods
The remarkable similarity between the camera eyes of cephalopods and vertebrates is one of the best-known examples of evolutionary convergence.
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.