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adaptive radiation

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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adaptive radiation

Postby emm225 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:44 am

hi,
was just wondering if anyone could please explain in clearer terms how adapative radiation can lead to convergent evolution
thanks
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Postby kotoreru » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:35 pm

Well the two are separate...one does not necessarily lead to the other.

Look at this (very) simple diagram to understand both ideas.

The common ancestor has the red trait, and the two new species that arise from it also have this trait. Their descendants also have this trait, though in the 2nd speciation (4 species) two of the species have the yellow trait - but since they are from different lineages, and this did not come from the common ancestor, then it is the result of convergent evolution.

To be more scientific, we say that the yellow trait is a Homoplasy (convergent evolution).
The red trait is a primitive trait, or a plesiomorphy. And there are other terms which you probably dont need to know such as when a trait is unique to a species, or a lineage etc.
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Postby Darby » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:41 pm

To some extent adaptive radiation, at least in early phases, is essentially divergent evolution.

I guess it could become convergent when a radiating line adapts to a niche that's already occupied by something, and resemblances between the original and newcomer species appear.
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