This website aims to tell you nearly everything you need (and may ever want) to know about convergent evolution. It allows y ou to explore the way that similar adaptive solutions have repeatedly evolved from unrelated starting points on the tree of life, 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.

Follow the Map of Life on Twitter, Facebook or visit our Blog for fresh updates on the incredible world of convergent evolution.

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 page.

Read more about the project...

Showcase Topic: 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.

Spotlight on Research:

“A Jurassic avialan dinosaur from China resolves the early phylogenetic history of birds”

Godefroit, P. Et al, Nature 498, 359–362 (20 June 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12168

Godefroit et al. present Aurornis xui, a feathered dinosaur uncovered from Mid-Late Jurassic strata in the Liaoning Province of China. The authors' phylogenetic analysis suggests that Aurornis appeared around 10 Ma earlier than the iconic Archaeopteryx. Aurornis (and its relative Anchiornis) are inferred to be more basal than Archaeopteryx in the Avialae, the group that leads to and includes the true birds. This casts doubt on Archaeopteryx's position as the earliest bird and, in spite of the continuing debate on this subject, infers that powered flight using feathered forearms may have only evolved once.