This website aims to tell you nearly everything you need (and may ever want) to know about convergent evolution. It allows you to explore the way that similar adaptive solutions have repeatedly evolved from unrelated starting points, as though following a metaphorical ‘map’.
We have identified hundreds of examples of convergence, so if you want to learn about convergence in sex (e.g. love-darts), eyes (e.g. camera-eyes in jellyfish), agriculture (e.g. in ants) or gliding (e.g. in lizards and mammals) then this is your best port of call.
Any of the information presented in the Map of Life may be freely reproduced, as long as it is acknowledged fully. Citation details can be found at the bottom of each Topic, in the format: Map of Life – “Topic title”, Topic web page address, Month/Year downloaded
Showcase Topic: Pharyngeal jaws in teleost fish
Spotlight on Research:
“Scanning behavior by larvae of the predacious diving beetle, Thermonectus marmoratus (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) enlarges visual field prior to prey capture”
E.K. Buschbeck, S.J. Sbita & R.C. Morgan 2007, Journal of Comparative Physiology A, volume 193, pages 973-982.
Some animals possess eyes with linear retinae but can perform smooth scanning motions to enlarge their visual field. This capacity has evolved in at least four very diverse groups of predatory animals, presumably in relation to prey capture. The example reported in this paper is the larva of the sunburst diving beetle (Thermonectus marmoratus), which has tubular eyes with a narrow retinal band and performs pivoting movements of its head and thorax to track prey visually before striking.