What is Parallel Evolution?

Parallel evolution is the evolution of independent traits and features in organisms which are not closely related. An example of parallel evolution is the strategy of using colouration to deter predators and to attract mates. 

Even in the plant kingdom, patterns on the leaves are repeated across various families and species. Birds and extinct creatures called pterosaurs evolved wings and distinct beaks, but they are not related closely. Marsupials, such as the kangaroo share quite a few similarities with placental mammals such as humans even though the two are not closely related. 

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