When two or more different species developed similar characteristics due to adaptation to the particular environment, but they do not belong to the same ancestors are kept under Convergent Evolution. While divergent evolution is the phenomenon in which two species have common ancestors, but develops different characteristics due to changes in the environment which they adapt slowly and hence gives rise to new species.
Our Earth is accomplished with numerous life, which can be in the form of a microorganism or big like a whale. It is believed that all forms of life present on earth till date have developed from a single living cell which further gave rise to other forms of life, this process is called evolution. Evolution is of two types Micro and Macro; Macroevolution is further subdivided into Convergent and Divergent Evolution.
Content: Convergent and Divergent Evolution
|Basis for Comparision||Convergent Evolution||Divergent Evolution|
|Meaning||When one or more different species evolve similarities in their characteristics and functions because of adaptations in an environment.||When an ancestral species diverges into multiple different species, ultimately giving rise to new species.|
|Way of evolution||They evolve from the different species but develops similar characteristics, like wings of birds and insects.||They evolve from same species and gradually give rise to new species like Darwin finches which have evolved in around 80 new species.|
|Cause of evolution||It is due to change in environmental conditions, or due to the place where they are living.||Due to migration or may be due to environmental changes.|
|Way of living||They live closely in the same way as other species, of which it has adapted the changes.||They live in different ways from their ancestor.|
|Appearance||The outer structure of a species may be different, but internally they resemble their ancestors.||As this type give rise to totally new species, they can be different from outside as well as inside in appearance.|
|Type of structure||Organisms evolve Analogous structure(means those structure which is similar in function but different in shapes and origin) despite evolving from a different ancestors.||These kind have a Homologous structure (means structure are same, but functions are different), despite appearing similar to ancestors.
|Example||1.Wings of insects, birds, bats.|
2.Streamlined body of dolphins and shark.
|Darwin finches (kind of birds)|
Definition of Convergent Evolution
We can say that “Convergent evolution is where two similar though independent species evolve in the same direction, individually acquiring similar characteristics.”
Normally convergent means ‘merging‘, biologically also it has almost the same meaning i.e. two or more species which have developed different characteristics from their ancestors, due to the adaptation to the particular environmental conditions in which they are living.
Example: Shark and Dolphin; where one is the mammal (Dolphin) while other is fish, but as they both are water living animal, have developed a common character which is a streamlined body.
Another example is wings of insects, bats, and birds, these organisms do not come from same ancestral family but have a common feature as wings used for flying.
Definition of Divergent Evolution
Divergent evolution is totally opposite of convergent evolution where related species evolve different characters and gradually result in new species.
Diverge means ‘separated’, So when any same ancestral species get diverged or change into another new form of species is called divergent evolution.
Example: The wooly mammoth and the elephant, both of them originated from a common ancestor, but the common ancestor eventually diverged, leading to two new species.
Key Differences Between Convergent and Divergent Evolution
Given below are the substantial points, differentiating the two types of evolutions:
- Convergent evolution is the process where two or different species develop similar traits, in spite having the different ancestor. An example is wings of birds, bats, insects.Whereas Divergent evolution gives rise to new species which may be similar in function but morphologically different from their ancestors. An example is Darwin finches (kind of birds).
- Organisms with Convergent evolution evolve Analogous structure (means those structure which is similar in function but different in shapes and origin) despite evolving differently from the structure. Divergent kind has the Homologous structure(means structure are same, but functions are different), despite appearing similar to ancestors.
- Examples of convergent evolution are wings of insects, birds, bats, streamlined body of dolphins and shark, whereas that of Darwin finches (kind of birds) is the example of divergent evolution.
- In convergent evolution, species evolve from the different species but develops similar characteristics, like wings of birds and insects. In case of divergent evolution, species evolve from same species and gradually give rise to new species like Darwin finches which have evolved in around 80 new species.
- Convergent evolution can be due to change in environmental conditions, or sudden changes in the place where the organisms are living, on the other hand, Divergent evolution arise due to the migration or any environmental changes.
The importance of evolution is in generating new kind of species which can cope up with the changes in the environment and able to adapt according to the surrounding easily. As each and every species is equally important and show their participation in environmental processes.