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Differentiate between convergent and divergent evolution with an example.

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: Evolution is the characteristics of any organism from generation to generation depending on the process of natural selection.

Complete Answer:
- Organic evolution is the theory that deals with the origin of more recent types of animals and plants, compared with the pre-existing forms and the study of distinguishable differences among the ancestors and descendents that are due to successive generation modification. For example, we have noticed larvae of a frog have tails that help them to swim and they respire from the gills, this indicates that the frog may have evolved from ancestors that have fish-like characteristics.

- There is evidence that supports organic evolution; the science of fossils that is palaeontology, it gives the direct and strongest evidence to support the organic evolution theory. Fossils are the remains of dead animals and plants that were preserved in rock of the past. Biological evolution means the changes in the characteristics of any organism from generation to generation. The change is gradual and orderly from simple to complex form, and as the living organisms are made up of organic matter, the biological evolution is also referred to as organic evolution.

Now, the difference between convergent and divergent evolution:

Sl.NoConvergent evolutionDivergent evolution
1.Due to adaptation when a species evolves similarities in their function and characteristics is considered as convergent evolution.In divergent evolution, an ancestral species diverges into many different species and finally produces a new species.
2.This type of evolution takes place due to changes in environmental conditions.This type of evolution occurs due to migration and environmental change as well.
3.The internal structure and function resembles their ancestors but the outer structure is different from the ancestors.The inside and the outside structure both may vary from the ancestors.
4.For example; wings of bats, birds, and insects.For example; Darwin finches, where the beak of finches changes due to adaptation.

Note: The evolution is based on three theories; the theory of natural selection or Darwin’s theory, the mutational theory or De Vries theory, and the synthetic theory of evolution or Neo-Darwinism. All these theories together broad the concept of evolution.