Divergent evolution

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(1) The process by which an interbreeding population or species diverges into two or more descendant species, resulting in once similar or related species to become more and more dissimilar.

(2) The process of tracing back two or more species to their common ancestor that indicate how they have diversified and diverged.


For example, a flock of bird in migration gets divided as half of them settled to a new island while the other half continued migrating to a farther land. Over time, the two groups become more adapted by developing new characteristics to enable them to survive to their new habitats. Thus, they become a different species to their ancestors and what was once one species has diverged into two.

Compare: convergent evolution, parallel evolution

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