Explain the Terms Analogous and Homologous Organs?

The body comprises of many organs. Human body, as well as the animal’s body, has many organs in them. These organs are classified into two categories. Namely homologous organs and analogous organs. Let us learn about these organs.

Homologous Organs

Homologous organs are defined as the organs of different animals that are having a similar structure but differ in their functions. The structure of the two different animals resemble but the functions of their organs vary.


Example of homologous organs are the forelimbs of frog, man, and the flippers of the whale.
The structure of these animals are the same but the function in a different manner. The flippers are used for swimming, the forelimbs of frogs are used for jumping and propping, and the forelimbs of man are used for writing, eating, holding things, etc. Having a similar structure shows that all these animals have a common ancestor.

Analogous Organs

Analogous organs are defined as the organs of different animals that are having different structure but perform the same functions.


Example of analogous organ is the wings of the insect and the wings of the bird.
The structure of wings of the bird has bones covered by flesh, skin, and feathers. Whereas the wings of insect is an extension of integument. But in both the cases, the wings are used for flying.
These organisms would have to adapt to the same ecological niche as other organisms. Hence, they may have evolved similar (analogous) organs.

Explore more: Differences between homologous and analogous organs

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