Category Archives: Convergence

Gliding in ants, bristletails and spiders

Tropical rainforest tree canopies offer an environment with unique rewards but also challenges for the many inhabitants, amongst which are wingless insects and other non-flying arthropods. Whilst they benefit from the abundant flowers and fruits found at the treetops, wingless … Continue reading

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The Runes of Evolution: a fresh new read on convergence

For those fascinated by the living world, a great treat is in store. About to hit the shelves is a new publication about convergent evolution, The Runes of Evolution: How the Universe Became Self-Aware. This book is by the renowned biologist Professor … Continue reading

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Tetrodotoxin: a potent defence for pufferfish… and other organisms

Tetrodotoxin is a lethal pufferfish defence chemical In Japanese cuisine, the iconic pufferfish Fugu (which refers to several species) is notorious because if improperly prepared its consumption can have fatal consequences. Some body parts, particularly the internal organs, contain high concentrations of one … Continue reading

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Barnacles: favoured by Darwin, convergent by nature

To mark Darwin Day 2015, which falls around Charles Darwin’s birthday (12th February) each year, we’re flagging up a marvellous creature that he particularly admired for its many strange characteristics: the barnacle. Naturally, the barnacle shows a host of notable convergences! Although they hardly … Continue reading

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An asymmetric diet of snails

One of the new entries on the Map of Life highlights some of the extraordinary convergences relating to snake and lizard feeding. Perhaps the most charismatic example relates to some beautiful neo-tropical snakes who have become truly adept at extracting snails from their … Continue reading

Posted in Convergence

How is a sea urchin like an insect eye?

Sea urchins and starfish may not be the first creatures that come to mind when pondering animal eyes, but they are full of surprises. Many echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish, brittle-stars, sea cucumbers and sea lillies) are sensitive to light. Certain … Continue reading

Posted in Convergence

Highlighting the Tree of Life

Are you interested in the ins and outs of how organisms are related to each other? The Map of Life has recently discovered a new ‘explorer’ tool that allows fascinating adventures amid the winding branches of the Tree of Life. … Continue reading

Posted in Convergence, Education