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Question

Explain the convergent and divergent evolution with suitable examples.

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Solution

Evolution is caused due to fluctuating environmental conditions which create variations and this helps in better adaptation. In Divergent evolution organs with similar structural plans evolve along different lines. In Convergent evolution, widely different organisms evolve similar structures due to similar environmental habitats.

Convergent evolution actually means distantly related groups converging together to perform the same functions because of the demand of a similar environment. Convergent evolution creates analogous structures. The resemblances are however superficial. The wings of pigeon, mosquito, and bat perform a similar function (flying) but have evolved from separate ancestral populations.

Divergent evolution is the accumulation of differences between groups that can lead to the formation of new species. For example, the vertebrate limb is one example of divergent evolution. The limb in many different species has a common origin but has diverged somewhat in overall structure and function. Homologous organs indicate divergent evolution.



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