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Question

Differentiate between divergent and convergent evolution. Given one example of each.

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Solution

Convergent evolution Divergent evolution
Development of similar adaptive functional structures in unrelated groups of organisms is called convergent evolution. Development of different functional structures from a common ancestral form is called divergent evolution.
Example - Analogous organs like nature of the flight/wings of insects, birds, pterosaurs, and bats. All four serve the same function and are similar in structure, but each evolved independently.
Example - Darwin's finches.
Darwin's finches are a group of about 15 different species of finches that live on the Galapagos Islands. Each separate species of finch adapted to a different diet, causing variation in their beak shape and/or size. All of them evolved from one species of finch that was a common ancestor.

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