About the Map of Life project

The purpose of the Map of Life is to document diverse examples of evolutionary convergence from throughout the living world, based on information from peer-reviewed journals and other scientific literature. Each example of convergence is connected by an array of links to other related topics, creating an extensively cross-referenced database. Moving around the pages of the site allows you to effectively explore the fascinating nature of convergent evolution and what it tells us about predictability in biological systems.

The name “Map of Life” reflects the way that evolution has repeatedly arrived at, or converged upon, the same adaptive solutions from more or less unrelated starting points, as though evolutionary trajectories were following a metaphorical “map” to the same destination.

As we are continually updating and creating new topics it is worth checking what is new whenever you return (and please be patient with gaps)!

Click on the headings below to find out more about convergent evolution and the Map of Life.

Convergent evolution

Convergent evolution? tell me more. Learn about what convergent evolution is, and why it is such an important aspect of life on Earth and possibly even beyond.

Aims of this website

The main aim of the Map of Life is to provide a resource for students, academics and any other readers curious to learn about convergence in the living world. Read more about this and our other aims.

The tree of life

Charles Darwin famously delineated a branching ‘tree of life’, and in this spirit you can see our own overview of relationships between all the forms of life mentioned on the website. There is a ‘Tree of life’ link in the footer of every page on the site, so you can easily return to check how the organisms you are reading about are related.

Map of Life staff

Find out about the dedicated team of writers, editors, designers and volunteers responsible for creating and contributing to the Map of Life website.

Map of Life funding

Find out about the sponsor of the Map of Life project.

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