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Echolocation in bats
How can bats navigate in total darkness amongst trees and branches, but still locate a tiny, fluttering insect with extraordinary acuity? All made possible through echolocation, an astonishing sensory mechanism…
Agriculture in dugongs
When you think of grazing mammals, you might envisage large herds of antelopes roaming African savannahs. Did you know that there is an equivalent in the ocean, feeding on seagrass?
Crustacean-trapping teeth in mesosaurs and crabeater seals
The multi-lobed post-canines of Lobodon carcinophagus are a functional analogue to the long, thin cage-like teeth of Mesosaurus, as both cage and prevent the escape of small crustacean prey.
Teeth in aquatic reptiles
Aquatic reptiles tend to display one of three dentition types, well adapted to either seize and slice large vertebrate prey, pierce and gouge slippery fish, or entrap small prey such as crustaceans.
Dental batteries in ceratopsians, hadrosaurs and elephants
The dental batteries or 'pavements' of ceratopsians and hadrosaurs evolved independently, and yet the dentition of several more distantly related animals also converges on their highly adapted tooth form.
Teiid lizard dentition: convergence with other reptiles, mammals and fish
Teiids are skink-like lizards whose members show a stunning diversity of tooth types, providing rich evidence of convergence within the teiids themselves, in distantly related reptile groups and even in certain mammals and fish.
Complex tooth occlusion in notosuchid crocodiles and tritylodonts (proto-mammals)
Two unusual Early Cretaceous crocodiles provide a shining example of convergence, as their dentition parallels that observed in a group of advanced proto-mammals called tritylodonts.
Reptile dentition: convergence on complex occlusion
Some reptiles have transverse chisel-like teeth for slicing, and others have teeth bearing projections ('cusps') that interlock and slice or grind tough food. In each case evolutionary parallels are clear both within and outside the reptiles.
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.
Limblessness in lizards
What's that slithering towards you? A snake? Look more closely, look convergently...
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.
Pharyngeal jaws in teleost fish
One of the great evolutionary breakthroughs in the teleost fish was the conversion of some of the elements that supported the gill bars into a second set of pharyngeal teeth that complemented the oral teeth. See how a fish becomes a snake!
Sabre-toothed cats and marsupials
Marsupials with giant fangs? Yes, not all of the extinct sabre-toothed cats were actually cats…
Electric fish: insights into convergence
Ever seen an electric eel in an aquarium? Don’t dare putting your hand in the tank...
Woodpeckers and woodpecker-like birds and mammals
You think woodpeckers are unique? Consider the ovenbirds. Or even the curious aye-aye.
Ecology and cosmetics in vultures
Vultures are not only charistmatic birds in the popular imagination, but are strikingly convergent, especially regarding feeding types...
Worm-like body form
Man is but a worm, but so are many other vertebrates...