Talk:Convergent evolution

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Bad Example[edit]

A picture of an owl and cat are compared, and it is said that they have conversantly evolved directional ears. The tufts on some owls' heads have nothing to do with hearing, they are display structures, so this doesn't constitute an example of convergent evolution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Opening paragraph[edit]

Bats' wings and birds' wings are convergent, but are also homologous with each other and with human arms. All three evolved from the forelimbs of their common reptilian ancestor. Grassynoel (talk) 04:41, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Bats' wings and birds' wings are not convergent, they are divergent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Swiftspice (talkcontribs) 02:49, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Convergent/Parallel evolution and subsequent animal classification[edit]

Is there a categorization of animal that groups them based in their morpohology, that is, in the total of their phenotypes? Ignoring phyllogenetic trees and all... Just based in what "looks alike"? Mmm... For example placing tazmanian devils with coyotes and dogs... Placing rhinos with triceratops and worms with snakes or cats with saber-tooth tigers? Undead Herle King 09:09, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Sure - you just call it a paraphyletic system of classification; a bit like speaking of reptiles and excluding aves, or talking about all fish. Or maybe just in classifying all things that swim as sea creatures - including whales, fish, and seals all together. One might see this referred to as an nichetype. Aderksen (talk) 20:53, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
thanks for the data, now... I'm thinking of this for its importance to the historic and trans-ethnic meaning of animals to the humanity that has met them... The place of wildlife in human culture is based more on paraphyletic taxonomies (so paraphyletic that unlike grouping reptiles and ignoring aves it demands a wildy variant series of selections of creatures to exclude and no simple rule would predict a phylogenetic-based algorythm to determine its operation) limited by a particular ethnias historically derived knowledge than on what science has found out about the origin of species. Symbolism occurs at face value and, while the shapes animals have has a lot to do with their niche, their niche makes up just a portion of what causes their shape; anacondas, bears, crocodiles, octopus and vampire bats all prey on animals one way or another but they all are different...
To humans not influenced by science they have less in common that hares, hyraxes, pikas and guinea pigs... Even worms, eels, snakes and caecilians are more closely related to their eyes, even if worms and snakes do not share the same niche, I do not know which niche caecilians fill, but I hope my point gets across... Likewise "aquatic creatures" might serve as a category in the classifications I'm asking if anyone knows to exist, however it would have sub-categories that might cross-reference other categories, eels would for example cross-reference a category for slithering creatures, for creepy crawlies, due to their similitude with snakes. Tadpoles and fish would probably be grouped together no matter whether fishes are fresh water or salt water fishes. Walruses would belong to a nearby category with some primitive amphibians because, morphologically, they aint exactly fish-like, decapods and jellyfishws would be grouped together, and so on...Undead Herle King (talk) 11:27, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Sentence modified[edit]

I changed "also developed similar to insects due to the need to detect smells in the air." There is no directed evolution. Evolution is thought to be a blind and purposeless process. Birds did not evolve wings because they needed to fly. Giraffes did not evolve long necks because they needed to feed on tree leaves.

The idea of "nature did this and that because of this and that" has no room in a materialistic world view. Everything is just pure chance of mutation and merciless natural selection.

And of course a materialistic worldview is the only valid one, right?

Rebuttal: This view is that of this particular author and is not accepted by everyone, a large group believe that giraffes actually did evolve long necks in order to reach the new 'type' of trees which had leaves taller. They developed and evoloved in order to reach a environmental niche which hadn't as yet been utilised. (Aswell as other reasons i'm not going to go into now). This topic is still greatly debated and i urge you to research using other materials in order to reach you opinion.

Commenting on the rebuttal: The point about evolution being directed should be clarified. Giraffes did not "evolve long necks in order to reach the new 'type' of trees which had leaves taller. They developed and evoloved in order to reach a environmental niche which hadn't as yet been utilised." This implies foresight and a goal, neither of which exist. This should be phrased as "those giraffes that happened to have longer necks were better able to survive and reproduce, and passed on the alleles for longer necks in a higher proportion compared to other alleles." However, there is compelling evidence that giraffe necks are not adaptations for feeding at all, but rather for combat. I recommend the article "Winning by a neck: Sexual selection in the evolution of giraffe" by RE Simmons and L Scheepers, published in American Naturalist Vol. 148, no. 5, pp. 771-786. Nov 1996. The gist of it is that:a) male giraffes fight for mates by clubbing each other with their heads/necks, b) during the dry season when food is scarce, giraffes still feed on lower vegetation available to other browsers, and c) the neck has increased much more than the legs, even though legs provide a much more economical way of gaining height. Even though it seems "obvious" that the long neck is for feeding on higher leaves, it is important not to make conclusions without investigation.

Well stated, anonymous poster! Always be wary of the "just so story" and the Panglossian paradigm! Aderksen (talk) 20:59, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

From immediately below "Sentence Modified" is "Evolution is thought to be a blind and purposeless process." This is incorrect. Mutation is a somewhat random process - limited by the nature of DNA which picks up fewer mutations than RNA for example - but evolution is directed by successful mutations where success is indicated by long term replication success. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dna replication (talkcontribs) 15:54, 26 January 2012

Marsupials vs placentals[edit]

What about the marsupials of australia vs the placentals of everywhere else? Isn't this considered an example, too? There are bear-like, mouse-like, wolf-like, squirrel-like marsupials. - Omegatron 01:32, Jan 3, 2005 (UTC) maybe public domain?

  • Added, thank you.Telecine Guy

Yes, and there are some good examples[edit]

Campbells Biology 7th edition notes these in a nice chart on page 969 (Marsupial/Eutherian): Plantigale/Deer Mouse Marsupial Mole/Mole Sugar Glider/Flying Squirrel Wombat/Woodchuck Tasmanian Devil/Wolverine Kangaroo/Patagonian Cavy —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:16, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Added, thank you.Telecine Guy

New paragraph moved for discussion[edit]

I removed the following paragraph from the article.

several anti-evolutionist critcisms have pointed out that the explanation of convergent evolution make darwinain homologies basically immune to critcism, one of many ways it is alledged evolution makes itself virtually immune to falsification, and hence "unfair". Some authors have gone as far as to claim that darwinism is compatiable with all (or basically all) possible worlds, hence making it unscientfic, or even pseudoscientfic, using the hypothesis of convergent evolution as a example of such "data avoidance", CF popper. Evolutionary biologists usually respond by saying that evolution only has so much "wiggle room" and hence if false could be proven so by certain results.

Could someone explain how convergent evolution makes evolution unfalsifiable? That doesn't make any sense to me, although I should disclaim that I am a firm believer in science and religious criticisms of science rarely make sense to me. Can the contributor provide any scientist works that allege such problems with evolution's falsifiability (since the criticism seems to be of scientific problems with evolution, and not of the "my book says it's not so" variety). — Knowledge Seeker দ (talk) 09:22, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't make sense to me, either. - Omegatron 23:22, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)

As I hold this view myself, I'll try to explain. When one is trying to support or discredit evolution, one looks at the animals alive today and judges whether they show evidence of having evolved that way or were more or less created that way. Things like amphibians support evolution, because they're seemingly a transitionary stage between fish and reptiles, but to see two creatures that look nearly identical yet are supposedly genetically very different would imply that they were created that way by a higher being that enjoyed that shape. Because evolution is said to be random, i.e. mutations happen completely at random and hopefully only beneficial ones make it into the gene pool, it would be an amazing coincidence for the same set of mutations to occur -twice-, just like lightning striking twice. (for that matter, a lot of scientists believe it's an amazingly rare phenomenon for any mutation to be beneficial) For a creationist, this seems like a good argument, then evolutionists come out with 'convergent evolution' without any explanation as to -why- it occurs, but simply a claim that it does, as a defense.. and to us it seems an unfair defense, as it's completely unfalsifiable. When evolution follows expected rules, it makes sense, yet when it doesn't, they seem to make up new rules to -make- it make sense. Understand?

I don't believe that organisms that have some similar property but that are genetically different (why the supposedly?) implies that they were created that way. There is more than one way to accomplish a certain task, like construct an eye, for instance. Evolution is decidedly not random: mutations may be, but the ones that survive, and therefore the progression of the gene pool, is highly directed—that's why evolution works. You are correct that it would be unlikely for the same set of mutations to occur twice—but organisms displaying convergent evolution have similar features from entirely different genes. I don't believe convergent evolution is a new concept that scientists have recently come up with, but I will try to explain why it occurs. Fins arose in the early vertebrates (the fish) presumably because they help the animals to move faster and more efficiently, and therefore are more likely to survive. However, they're not too useful on land, although legs are, which is why land animals have these. But the group of mammals that spent increasing amounts of time in the water had an advantage if they could swim more efficiently, and this was likely the reason for the progression of forelimbs to flippers and the regression of the hind limbs in the dolphins and whales (and the muscular tail). There are only so many ways to propel oneself in the water; it is not surprising that a smooth, solid (as opposed to having separate digits) appendage occurs in both sharks and dolphins, animals that very superficially resemble each other (enough so that dolphins were once considered to be fish, like sharks). Even human swimmers use a similar apparatus (flippers that are smooth, rubbery, solid, and with a large surface area) to help them move through the water, since our appendages are clearly not well-suited for aquatic travel. The similarity between dolphins and sharks is superficial, however. Dolphins are "warm-blooded" like other mammals, give birth to live young, and need to breathe air like other mammals. Most telling, however, is the anatomy of the homologous structures. The fins of a shark are constructed like the fins of other fish, and sharks too swim with their tail oriented vertically, moving from side to side. Dolphins, however, are descended from land mammals like we are. The bones of their flippers include a shortened humerus (arm bone), radius and ulna (forearm bones), carpals, metacarpals, and five "fingers", with the corresponding numbers (three phalanges for the 4 fingers, two for the "thumb"), just like in us. Why dolphins should have a distorted "hand" inside their flippers makes little sense from a design perspective, but makes perfect sense considering their origin. Incidentally, most whales/dolphins don't have hind limbs, although some have tiny vestigial ones deep inside their bodies. Also, the spine of a dolphin is like ours—it bends more easily and more powerfully forward and backwards (or for the dolphin, up and down), not side to side—so their tails are oriented horizontally and they move their tails up and down to swim. In fact, it is similar to the way a human with flippers swims—and different from the sharks and other fish. That's convergent evolution—superficially similar structures, to accomplish the same task, but arising by different routes. Convergent evolution would be expected, not a surprise. As for your point of the appearance of new rules, I'm afraid that's how science works. If new evidence arises, then you try to find a new theory that best explains the available evidence. Sometimes it means modifying the theory. Sometimes it means coming up with a whole new theory. If new information comes to light, we modify or discard the theory, instead of stubbornly clinging to it as overwhelming evidence continues to accumulate. — Knowledge Seeker 05:33, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Could someone just please post a link to an article which describes how convergent evolution occurs, instead of just giving examples? I think this would mollify the folks crying "unfalsifiable". - LyleK

There aren't any, that's the problem. Nobody knows "why" or "how" it works, it's just a term made up to explain an observation.
B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T to the nth degree. Look up natural selection and ecological niche and population genetics and exaptation in any good encyclopedia anytime. This is not the 19th century anymore.
"it's just a term made up", yeah, right... Do me a favor: learn to read. You can write, so not all hope's lost...
Sop you wanna have an example? Here goes:
Shrew-like mammal lives on ground, has forelimbs, can dig a bit. Some descendants dig better than others. Some decendants are also mutations, freaks, cripples, you name it - but they can still make some sort of living. Some of these happen to have clubby hands and stumpy fingers. Makes them better diggers, if nothing else.
Repeat for say 500.000 generations.
Repeat again, this time with a sort of grasshoppery insect.
Result? Moles and mole crickets.
This could essentially be done for any case on the list - the bottom line is that in evolution, any property that doesn't kill you will get tried out. And "any" is, basically anything that natural variation is able to produce (including heritable diseases). And that is a lot.
The problem with people like you is, you have NO FRICKIN IDEA HOW MUCH it is. You have noit the slightest inkling of understanding what biodiversity is or what it means.
There is one case in the list where I am abolutely sure that I at least cannot give an answer, and I think nobody can. The look-alike longspur and meadowlark.
Assuming that Genesis is right and Darwin is wrong [which may well be so, but shutting your ears and singing "lalala no evidence can't hear you" won't get you anywhere], the closest thing to a "proof" for that would be a bunch of songbirds that are pretty irrelevant in the big scheme of things.
What does this tell you about God?
(Believe me - you'll be better off with trusting in evolution. God, if He exists, is either a bitch who finds it more important to create mosquitos and beetles than to care about humans, or a freak on LSD.) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 04:27, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

parallel convergence[edit]

please clarify the difference between parallel and convergent evolution - Omegatron 23:22, Jan 22, 2005 (UTC)

Done. Let me know if you feel this requires further elaboration - Gdvorsky 19:54, Jan 22, 2005 (EST)

i think i get it, but it requires me to think about it a second. some examples would be great. eyes are used as examples in both articles, which probably contributes to my misunderstanding. - Omegatron 04:07, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)
Oh! i get it, i think:
  • convergent evolution: insects, octopuses, and fish-->birds/fish-->mammals all have eyes, but some branched off from the others before eyes had evolved
  • parallel evolution: birds and fish both have streamlined body plans and broad flat appendages which happen to work well in both environments - Omegatron 04:11, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I think your examples are close, but I would like to get some better examples in there. Currently working on it... - Gdvorsky 23:34, Jan 22, 2005 (EST)

Okay, I think that now *I* finally have it. I've clarified the definitions of both convergent evolution and parallel evolution, and added yet a third phenomenon, evolutionary relay. I also removed the discussion of mimicry, as I don't believe it's in the same family of evolutionary processes as these three -- but I did add mimicry to each article's Related articles section. - Gdvorsky 13:25, Jan 23, 2005 (EST)

Good work... but are parallel evolution and evolutionary relay specific instances of of the more general term, convergent evolution? 21:34, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I believe the answer is no, for a reason that facilitated me making these changes in the first place. A post-grad friend of mine recently got nailed during an evo-bio oral examination for not correctly distinguishing between convergent and parallel evolution, prompting me to find the answer. That being said, I think all these entries are still very insufficient, not taking into account things like systematics characters, molecular-level convergence/parallelism, evolutionary regression into convergence/parallelism, etc. Unfortunately, this topic is outside my expertise. - Gdvorsky 21:48, Jan 24, 2005 (EST)

I am having trouble understanding the difference between convergent evolution and evolutionary relay. The article says that what distinguishes the latter is a separation in time, but the evolution of pterosaur wings and bat wings and bird wings (the examples given for convergant evolution) are certainly well-separated in time. And the shark/ichthyosaur example seems weird because sharks were, actually around back when ichthyosaurs evolved. So the examples given don't clarify anything for me. --Xkcd 11:35, 27 February 2007 (UTC)xkcd

New section for "examples"[edit]

I made a new section here for "other examples", hoping to encourage some other interesting and exotic examples of convergent evolution. I included some recent findings on the poison dart frog (found in a NY Times article, Archie Paulson 21:11, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

A Good Addition; this may lead to some new 'break-out' articles. I am pretty sure that there are macroscopic(family and order) versions(as in Australia vs the rest of the Continents) of Conv. evol. vs smaller, family and genus versions. I am adding the New World vultures and the Old World vultures. The New world use Smell, the Old world are in the Eagle family and use Sight (I found this out working on a bird page.).MMcAnnis--Mmcannis 05:31, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

"Form follows Function", i.e.--Convergent evolution[edit]

It seems too easy to forget the main reason for creating a term: Convergent Evolution. It is as simple as: Form–follows–Function. It is why virtually all of the placentals evolved species categories equivalent to the marsupials, or vice-versa. (It is obvious the oldest and earliest explorers all saw this.) ..MMcAnnis--Mmcannis 18:41, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Brilliant! Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 04:28, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Not sure where I should put this, but I wanted to say it :) "Similarity can also be explained by shared ancestry, as evolution can only work with what is already there - thus wings were modified from limbs, as evidenced by their bone structure." (from the [Convergent evolution] page). Doesn't this beg the question: "where did the limbs specialize from?" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 5 March 2009 (UTC)


I added the unreferenced tag to this article. Perhaps one or a few standard texts on evolutionary biology could serve. 05:39, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Merge from Morphological convergence?[edit]

Most of the examples here seem to concern anatomy already. Melchoir 22:20, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

This seems like a good idea - morphological convergence is a subtopic of this article, and it would be difficult to explain it properly without referencing most of the content presented here. Mike Serfas 02:14, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

2 levels of "convergent evolution"[edit]

1-It should be noted that there are individual, a species level of convergent evolution.
2-However, on a Macroscopic level, all of continental australia has forms with analogues in the Placental world vs the Marsupial.

I am not sure that "Morphological convergence" or Convergent Evolution, is addressing these two major, topical distinctions, of Convergent Evolution.--MichaelMcAnnisYumaAZ,USA--Mmcannis 09:46, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Convergent evolution does also occur at the molecular and physiological levels. While is currently is not covered, it provides justification to keep the entries separate.

Prof. J.D. Pettigrew FRS of UQ Brain Institute has written the paper "Summary of Studies on Primate Phylogeny and 'Flying Primate' Hypothesis" ( which addresses problems in assessing phylogeny from a purely DNA-based analysis. He points out that genetic drift in certain areas can heavily distort the relevance of any comparison. There is a suggestion that environmental factors actually impose a level of genetic convergence, I think. (talk) 08:27, 24 October 2008 (UTC) Ian Ison

Interesting find, Ian. I don't think it's a WP:RS in its own right and note that it was last updated in 1999, which is a long time in the relatively new discipline of molocular phylogenetics, but it can certainly provide plenty of leads for searching. -- Philcha (talk) 11:08, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

removed questionable bullet[edit]

Excuse me, what? "spines have evolved in mammals"? I suppose before that key event, they were part of the little-known but widespread group of spineless mammals? Spines - to the best of my knowledge - are thought to have evolved before any animal put foot (or flipper) on land, in anchient fish, carried into tetrapods, diapids, therapods (the proto-mammals), and kept the *whole* time, right up untill placentals, marsupuals and monotremes diverged. So no convergent evolution there - Jack (talk) 02:06, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Wrong spines. We're talking about the spiky ones. Is there a better word for those? - Samsara (talkcontribs) 08:24, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Lol. *kicks self* should have thought bout it before I launched into rant - Jack (talk) 13:32, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the perported contradition between parallel and convergent evolution; I believe this stems from a misunderstanding between the two concepts.

Parrallel evoluton refers to the evolution of similar traits which have resulted from similar ancestral characteristics. For example Marsupials in Australia and Placentals in south America share similar ancestors but have developed in parallel although seperated as a result of plate tectonics resulting in continental drift.

Convergent evolution species on the other hand do not have similar ancestors or traits. It is the case that evolution have arrived at the same answer to a problem through different developmental pathways. for example; a bats wing, a bees wing and a birds wing are all different in structure, in terms of homology, but represent a similar solution to the problem of flight.

cliveClive140359 12:09, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

"Not monophyletic" organisms?[edit]

I think that this criterion is somewhat unclear, since there are no special creations, all life is monophyletic at some point. More proper would be something like that "organisms that aren't from far related taxa or clades", even though it is not quite clear as well, how much relatedness is far and how much is close. Actually I don't even know and I'm often guilty of using "parallel" and "convergent" interchangeably (not on wikipedia, calm down). Not that it really is. Related with this issue, the article of evolutionary relay, a obscure, new to me, distinction of parallel evolution even cites bees and hummingbirds hovering flight as parallel evolution. If such phyletic distance is yet "monophyletic" enough, real convergence would occur only between plants and animals, terrestrials and aliens or something as far as that. --Extremophile 17:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Links to this page[edit]

I noticed that Homoplasy redirects here but the term itself is never mentioned. Would somebody please add a definition? HannsEwald (talk) 00:33, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Done, thank you Telecine Guy 05:23, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


Cambrian explosion taskforce logo.svg This article has just been serviced by the Cambrian Explosion Task Force! Find out how you can get involved.

We're hoping to get this article up to "B-class", and your input would be welcomed. The article could use input from a sociocluturalist to at least cite the reference to cultural evolution, and comments on its structure would be welcomed. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:22, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Kapow!! (for the explosion) Possibly then from Vere Gordon Childe that describes "divergence" and "convergence". Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:54, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


(Copied from WT:CEX)

Without looking anything up, just based on vague memories of articles I've edited recently, there's quite a lot more, with sources. I suspect Googling for "convergent evolution convergence convergently" using advanced search restricted to Wikipedia would get quite a lot. A few items that spring to mind:
  • Bats' and birds' wings.
  • "Rampant convergence" in spiders' webs.
  • There's got to be something in Halwaxiid.
  • Convergent evolution of Malphigian tubules in terrestrial members of arthropod sub-phyla, with loss of nephridia.
  • Convergence of segmentation in annelids and arthropods, if the Ecdysozoa / Lophotrochzoa split is right.
  • Coelom in protostomes and deuterostomes.
  • Camera eyes - how many times?
  • Venomous fangs in spiders, ants, snakes & beaded lizards.
  • Warm-bloodedness in mammals and in birds / dinos.
  • Problem-solving intelligence in spiders, octopuses, birds and mammals.
  • In cladistics, "parsimony" = "minimum of convergences and reversals" (in PAUP).
  • There have to be examples in our articles of convergence either confounding phylogenetic analyses and / or invoked as "get out of jail" cards. -- Philcha (talk) 17:03, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Given my own personal research biases, I'd have to suggest that you go ahead and include insects as examples of convergence in flight - they have wings which perform the same function, but then you can conveniently demonstrate them as an obvious outgroup when compared to the descendants of tetrapods. Or maybe that would be tossing too many ideas at people at one time?
Would it also be worthwhile to point out that neutral convergence exists for things like DNA sequences, where random chance (n ~ 1:4) or chemical probability (C-->G swaps) will create similar sequences? Aderksen (talk) 20:31, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I've tried to avoid turning the article into a list of examples of convergent evolution, because I think the focus should be on the concept. I think it's more beneficial to keep the article short and concise so the points are clear than to try and make it fully comprehensive, which may be an impossible task! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:15, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Also, does C->G count as convergent evolution? I've never hears the phrase applied in that sense before and wonder how appropriate it is. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 21:18, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Martin, I sympathise with your desire to avoid another "list" article. I produced these examples off the top to show the range of levels at which convergence can operate, from body plans to behaviour. Now Aderksen has reminded us both that convergence can also bedevil mol phylo, which I think is a very important point - I'm sure there must be good RNA examples to avoid your concern about whether C->G is really convergence. I'd go for one example in each of body plans, behaviour, mol phylo and warm-bloodedness (physiology) plus 1 morphological / functional example at an intermediate level.
As your comment implies, there's also a lot of theoretical significance to explain. -- Philcha (talk) 21:44, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

"Arthropods have failed to evolve a camera eye"[edit]

This statement is probably false - the main ocelli of jumping spiders are very acute and have a "telephoto" lens system, see spider for more info and refs. --Philcha (talk) 11:42, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

It basically depends on how restrictive you are in the definition of "camera eye" (ie, just like humans and octopi, or including all other single-lens systems). It is rather suspect, though, as a result. I did a bit of poking around on google scholar, and could find very little on "camera eye" + spider, or even just "camera eye" - it seems to be a vernacular term, rather that a precise scientific one, hence the problem of sloppy definition. Mokele (talk) 13:49, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Mokele's point about sloppy definition is a good one. Pax 6: mastering eye morphogenesis and eye evolution does not actually define "camera eye" but says cephalopods and vertebrates have them, and also the bivalves Cardium and Pecten (scallop), with a nice diagram of all the eye types the authors consider. The difference between Cardium+Pecten and vertebrates+coleids (i.e. cephalopods excluding Nautilus) appears to be that in vertebrates+coleids the lens is adjustable, but that's just my WP:OR and I found no sources that said this. I can find sources that use "camera eye" to describe those of vertebrates and of coleid cephalopods, and "pinhole eye" or "pinhole camera eye" to describe that of Nautilus (e.g. Ruppert, E.E., Fox, R.S., and Barnes, R.D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology (7 ed.). Brooks / Cole. p. 361. ISBN 0030259827. ). Looks like possession of a lens is the key feature. I still think "Arthropods have failed to evolve a camera eye" is very questionable and probably plain false, and should be removed unless supported very strongly by WP:RS. --Philcha (talk) 14:54, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I've done a little looking and it seems that to me the biggest difference between human eyes and compound eyes is single lense + pupil + sensor (ie camera lense, shutter, film) where compound eyes have multiple lenses/sensors and no pupils - but I'm no biologist. The best (first? or only?) site I could find that made reference to a camera eye was and this site uses somewhat different functional definitions of "simple eye" and "compound eye" from those in eye. Also the three sentences beginning with "However, evolutionary history can act as a constraint..." don't sit well with me personally, but more importantly they don't contribute anything relevant to the topic of the article.---Puff (talk) 03:42, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

This is by no means the accepted view as a google search for "advantages of the compound eye" will reveal:

this reference shows that the reasons for the existence of the two systems exist are not that well understood, and to quote from here

There is, however, a great advantage to the compound eye system. Image processing is so much more efficient than is the case with, for example, a human's eyes, that the compound eye offers a much greater flicker fusion rate. This means that an insect can assimilate changes in what it's seeing many times more quickly than we can.

Also in Next-generation cameras inspired by fruit flies and moths it says:

insects such as fruit flies and moths have a completely different type of eye called compound eyes to accommodate the animals’ small size and low brain processing capabilities…The arrangement allows for a large field of view, but does not require large signal processing

I have expanded the example and added new references but it may be that it just isn't a good example and should be removed. Richerman (talk) 12:00, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Wrong examples?[edit]

1. It is not clear, why marsupials and mammals are an example of convergent evolution. To me it seems divergent evolution.

2. The development from photoreceptive spot to eye may be bare evolution or parallel evolution, but development of human eyes beside compound eyes is divergent evolution (from the same ancestrial genes).--Wickey-nl (talk) 16:43, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Marsupials vs mammals refers to specific instances where two are very similar, such as the mole and marsupial mole. As for eyes, it's specifically talking about the 'camera eye', which, in two separate lineages developed more or less the same form independently. Mokele (talk) 18:26, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Not really an answere.
1. What is the acquired common trait in both lineages? This is an exemple of parallel evolution (see Parallel_evolution#Parallel_evolution_between_marsupials_and_placentals) so it should be deleted here.
2. When talking about the 'camera eye' we have a bare evolution (from photoreceptive spot to simple and compound eyes). When talking about simple eyes versus compound eyes we have a divergent evolution in the case that one of the two was developed first. We have a parallel evolution in the case that both developed independant in both lineages from the photoreceptive spot. In all cases it does not belong in this article. --Wickey-nl (talk) 07:10, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

There seems to be some confusion here, To quote from the Parallel evolution article:

When the ancestral forms are unspecified or unknown, or the range of traits considered is not clearly specified, the distinction between parallel and convergent evolution becomes more subjective. For instance, the striking example of similar placental and marsupial forms is described by Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker as a case of convergent evolution, because mammals on each continent had a long evolutionary history prior to the extinction of the dinosaurs under which to accumulate relevant differences. Stephen Jay Gould describes many of the same examples as parallel evolution starting from the common ancestor of all marsupials and placentals.

Now you're saying its divergent evolution - do you have a reference for that? Richerman (talk) 12:55, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, it's crucial to specify of which trait(s) you are speaking. That is neglected here.
When the ancestor splits into two lineages, marsupials and placentals, there is developement into different directions. So clearly divergent evolution.
When, starting from the photoreceptive spot, one lineage develops 'simple' eyes and one lineage compound eyes there is also clearly divergent evolution. Logical arguing. There is no acquisition of the same biological trait in unrelated lineages.--Wickey-nl (talk) 14:48, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that the distinction between convergent and parallel is subjective at best. "Unrelated lineages" is wrong - there are NO unrelated organisms, all life descends from a common ancestor. So the issue then becomes "how far apart, morphologically or phylogenetically, do organisms have to be for it to be 'convegent' instead of parallel? I remember having this debate recently at a discussion group with some faculty, and nobody could pin down a difference (and this is at an Ivy League school).Mokele (talk) 16:15, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

With 'unrelated lineages' here is meant: two lineages that developed independant starting from a common ancestor. --Wickey-nl (talk) 14:48, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I know, but it's a sloppy term, and should *NEVER* be used. I actually think there's no difference between convergent and parallel evolution, and it's all just a consequence of people being sloppy with terms. If two organisms develop the same trait independently, and the common ancestor lacked that trait, it's convergent evolution. Parallel evolution is the same thing with a different name, usually applied to more closely related organisms. Mokele (talk) 16:58, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree. Convergence means that two different traits develop to one alternative trait. That's the opposite of divergence and not the same as parallel.--Wickey-nl (talk) 17:13, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
That's easy to say, hard to actually apply, especially for morphology. What is "one trait" that's converged upon, and how precisely? Wings could be seen as convergences, but that's a very *broad* description of the structures, and each wing is different at the finer scale. And how do you define "two diffferent traits", especially when you're dealing with something as broad as overall body plan? Consider snakes and amphisbaenians: both evolved from lizards, and both lost their limbs. If this parallel, because the start and end points are the same, or convergent, because snakes went through an aquatic phase while amphisbaenians didn't? Does the process matter, or is it just the start and end points? Mokele (talk) 19:44, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Yellow legs and red legs are two different traits which can converge to orange (or brown) legs.
Lizards is a good exemple. If snakes and amphisbaenians lost their limbs independant (after some generations) it would be a parallel evolution (with snakes and amphisbaenians with limbs between). If there was an ancestor between lizard on the one hand and snakes and amphisbaenians on the other hand and that ancestor already lost his limbs, then there was a bare evolution between lizard and the ancester between. No convergence because there was no developement from different traits (or better different species with different traits) to different species with the same trait. The problem could be the determination wether there was such an ancestor between or not. For that you need genetic data. --Wickey-nl (talk) 10:35, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Do not replace the content of this page with your oversimplified, pedestrian understanding of this concept. I have tried to educate you on the complexities of this issue, and you've merely showcased your ignorance. Any further edits without explicit talk-page consensus will be considered vandalism. Mokele (talk) 21:15, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

The only thing that a real simple mind can do is reverting an edit.--Wickey-nl (talk) 11:48, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Are owls ears really targeted? In what sense do you mean? I think many people will think that you mean both cats and owls can rotate their ears when an owl just has ear tufts and it's actual ears are very different. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Convergent evolution in humans[edit]

A good example—“the best example of convergent evolution in humans that I’ve ever seen,” according to Joel Hirschhorn, a geneticist and paediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts—can be found in NATURE, Vol 444, 21-28 December 2006 in the article: "How Africa learned to love the cow" by Erika Check. It describes the discovery of convergent evolution in humans with regard to lactose tolerance by adults. (Africans apparently evolved it completely separately—and quite recently—from Europeans.) RobertM525 (talk) 04:06, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Adaptations towards malaria#Evolutionary pressure of malaria on human genes would be another example. Some may consider them parallel evolution anyway. In the malaria example, some may even consider it divergent evolution. Of course these would be better in the list Nil Einne (talk) 11:15, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


I came across these refs regarding evidence for covergent evolution among humans and elephants for intelligence. I thought of inserting them under the part that mentions intelligence but it only meantions crows, primates and dolphins so doesn't really fit. But perhaps they'll be useful somewhere Nil Einne (talk) 11:34, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Distinction from re-evolution[edit]

This paragraph describes genes as having a lifespan dictated in years, surely the lifespan is dictated by generations instead? With 'years' being the product of generations x lifespan? (talk) 13:14, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Further Reading[edit]

The link given in

- Convergent Evolution Examples- Ecological Equivalents, Department of Biology, Bellarmine University.

is currently broken. I have left it, since it may be fixable and/or someone may know where the content has been moved. If not, it needs to be removed or replaced. (talk) 01:41, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


"Homoplasty" redirects here, but the page only mentions "Homoplasy", which I believe is something different. "Homoplasty" is "the formation of homologous tissues" per Webster 1913. (talk) 13:24, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Owl/Cat example not referenced and questionable[edit]

The owl/cat example has several problems. (1) The example doesn't have a reference. (2)Both could be images of domestication not evolution. (3)The taxa is not given for either. I think the removal of that part is vital especially since the doll face silver persian image represent human intervention in these character states and thus not evolution by natural selection. So this isn't convergent evolution. BenjaminDHolland

It's called "selective breeding". Obviously not convergent evolution. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:44, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

It's always [[Natural selection] unless you are saying that being a Human is not natural. Selective breeding is a form of selection typically associated with pressures from one particular Species. Dna replication (talk) 19:03, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Dollos law is not holding up to scrutiny[edit]

As DNA sequencing converges with cladistic analysis it is becoming clear that Dollos law does not hold water [1]. Someone should edit the second sentence of the section "Distinction from re-evolution" to reflect this current knowledge... which does cause one to ask how this could become a law while evolution remains classified as a theory - ergo what constitutes a proof. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dna replication (talkcontribs) 15:54, 26 January 2012

Dna replication, if you are knowledgeable in the subject, be bold and add it yourself! Welcome to Wikipedia! jonkerz ♠talk 19:08, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I've noticed that Analogy_(biology), in addition to being only marginally more than a stub, essentially duplicates the contents of this page. Given that the primary (?only?) mechanism of producing biologically analagous structures is convergent evolution, as well as the state of the other page, I suggest a merge and redirect from analogy to here. HCA (talk) 15:02, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Copy Editing[edit]

I think the article needs copy editing for clarity and concision, and I want experts' advice because I am a layperson. Below is an exemplary copy-edit of the lead's first paragraph and the principles whereby I edited:

"Convergent evolution describes similar features' independent evolution in species of different lineages. Convergent evolution creates similarly-formed or functioning analogous structures lacked by the groups' last common ancestor.[1] The cladistic term for the same phenomenon is homoplasy, from Greek for same form.[2] Flight's recurrent evolution exemplifies convergent evolution: flying insects, birds, and bats independently evolved flight, 'converging' on this useful trait."

  • Replaced "the X of Y" with "Y's X" in order to remove the unnecessary "the" and "of".
  • Combined sentences wherever possible
  • Replaced "is an example of" with the appropriate tense of "exemplify"
  • Replaced double quotes with single quotes around "converging" because it is not quoted
  • Made further edits necessitated by following the above principles

Duxwing (talk) 16:31, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Looks good to me! HCA (talk) 15:50, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Yay! Time to put it in! :) Duxwing (talk) 00:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for asking for expert advice. First of all, I reject all of your stated principles. They will sometimes do more harm than good; consult a copyediting manual if you want to find useful principles, but then apply them with great care. Concise does not mean as short as possible; look it up. And wikipedia uses double quotes, not single. Some specific points on your edit to the lead:

  1. The plural possessive is seldom an improvement over the widely used "of". It's easier to read "Convergent evolution describes the independent evolution of similar features" than "Convergent evolution describes similar features' independent evolution".
  2. It is conventional to put a space between sentences, which you neglect to do in your copyedit.
  3. How is "Convergent evolution creates similarly-formed or functioning analogous structures lacked by the groups' last common ancestor" in any way better than the original "Convergent evolution creates analogous structures that have similar form or function, but were not present in the last common ancestor of those groups"? (I'd copyedit the latter to add a "that" in the middle of "but were" to make it more explicitly parallel).
  4. "The recurrent evolution of flight is a classic example of convergent evolution. Flying insects, birds, and bats have all evolved the capacity of flight independently. They have "converged" on this useful trait." changed to use one long sentence using the awkward possessive form: "Flight's recurrent evolution exemplifies convergent evolution: flying insects, birds, and bats independently evolved flight, 'converging' on this useful trait."

In your follow-up copy edit to another paragraph or two:

  1. "Traits arising through convergent evolution are termed analogous structures, in contrast to homologous structures, which have a common origin, but not necessarily similar function." changed to "Convergently-evolved traits are termed analogous structures, which unlike homologous structures need not share an origin." This is not really an improvement. The improvement needed here is to to not call a trait a structure. And if you really need to adverbize convergent, beware that a hyphen is explicitly not needed after it.
  2. "Bat and pterosaur wings are an example of analogous structures, while the bat wing is homologous to human and other mammal forearms, sharing an ancestral state despite serving different functions." changed to "Exemplifying this difference, bat wings analogize pterosaur and homologize human and other mammal forearms, sharing an origin and serving different functions." Come on, you needed to verbize the newly introduced terms this way? A good copyedit might have just fixed the number disagreement in "are an example" instead; maybe "constitute an example"?
  3. "The opposite of convergent evolution is divergent evolution, whereby related species evolve different traits." changed to "Convergent evolution's opposite is divergent evolution, whereby related species evolve different traits." The idiom "the opposite of X" is much more natural than "X's opposite"; give up you fascination with the possessive, and many have suggested to you already.
  4. "On a molecular level, this can happen due to random mutation unrelated to adaptive changes; see long branch attraction." changed to "Molecularly, it can happen due to random mutation unrelated to adaptive changes; see long branch attraction." and here you felt a need to adverbize "molecular"?

Any one or two such disfluencies could be tolerated or worked on. But since every sentence you editted got worse, the best response is to simply undo the edit. I hope this time you will understand why. Please ask here if you need more detail. Dicklyon (talk) 20:47, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Hey! Thanks for the explanation! :)
  1. Why? "Stan's dog" is more easily read than "The dog of Stan".
  2. That's not the kind of combination I was talking about. I was talking about combining whatever sentences could be combined; e.g., "Houses are big. Mice are small." into "Houses are big, and mice are small."
  3. The former is much shorter and more readable than the lengthy, tortured latter.
  4. I could have combined the sentences just as well with "the ... of ..."
  5. Yes, why not? Adverbial phrases are accepted English; e.g., "Truthfully, he is fat" or "Logically, the proposition follows". Duxwing (talk) 23:46, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Your five numbered points don't bear any obvious relation to any other set of things in evidence. Can you restructure and try to be clear what you're saying? And if you think that "'Stan's dog' is more easily read than 'The dog of Stan'" is a defense of your awkward use of possessives, you'll need to go further than that to try to make your point. Nobody is defending "the dog of Stan", as far as I know. Dicklyon (talk) 23:53, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
This reads as if Duxwing might be operating under one or more personal copyediting rules of thumb which seem obvious and important to them, but which are not being clearly explained to other editors. (I once encountered an editor who wanted to rewrite a few article ledes in E-Prime, but chose not to explicitly state this, instead having lengthy and circular talk page discussions with other editors about how his proposed sentences were just somehow "better" and "clearer" than theirs.)
Is Duxwing perhaps just placing an excessively high priority on reducing the length of sentences here, to the point where they see a short, choppy sentence as ultimately preferable to a long, smoothly-flowing one? All of the above concerns (even "replaced double quotes with single quotes"!) seem to involve making a sentence take up less space on the page. --McGeddon (talk) 21:54, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
His edit summary sometimes says what he likes, as in this one. The preference for possessives is particularly annoying, as is the preference for "like" where "such as" makes more sense; these he has done at many articles. Changing "in full" to "fully" can be non-idiomatic. Overemphasis on shortness, removint "word cruft" as he calls it, may indeed be the underlying explanation. I agree with the dangling "this" problem (but not his fix), and that got fixed by the editor who partially reverted him. Dicklyon (talk) 22:09, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Checking his other edits, here he removes "word cruft" with the smiley comment that this "should considerably increase dV of page. :p" - if this is at all serious, it could simply be that he's labouring under the misunderstanding from somewhere that Wikipedia wants its editors to make sentences shorter whenever possible, and that possessives and like-for-such-as are just handy tricks to achieve that, with any small decrease in readability being a fair trade-off. Is that your thinking here, User:Duxwing? --McGeddon (talk) 22:27, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
My goal is not to reduce each sentence's length but to correctly say what the article said with less ink, and I thought that whatever I did toward that end would increase readibility by definition; I usually silenced whatever nagging qualms I had about it, and I now feel a rising dread that thus pursuing this goal is a "misunderstanding" of the Wikipedian Copy Editing Guide I read years ago. >_< If it is, then this editor will need a good home, and I'll be sorry for having mistakenly caused a fuss.  :( Also, I was serious when I made the edit with the dV joke--the new version if printed would have less ink and therefore less mass and therefore, ceteris paribus, achieve a greater change in velocity (dV). Perhaps I'm playing too much Kerbal Space Program. Duxwing (talk) 23:42, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
"To correctly say" is a split infinitive, by the way. I second (third?) the motion that replacing "of" with the possessive form of the noun seldom improves readability, and often results in very non-idiomatic phrases; see my recent comment at Talk:Rational pricing. The English genitive is hard for non-native speakers, since it can be hard to distinguish when one construction is better. Usually, but not always, the possessive form of a noun is limited to expressing possession, rather than some other genitive attribute. The phrase "Stan's dog" implies that the dog belongs to "Stan", whereas "convergent evolution's opposite" is obviously not a possessive attribute of "convergent evolution", which is why the latter seems rather odd to native English speakers.
Also, it certainly takes a hefty dose of cognitive dissonance to be worried over the amount of ink spent on a medium that primarily exists only in electronic form. One can't tell if you're being serious. But I can say in seriousness from firsthand experience that Soviet academics were concerned about the number of printed words when they published in academic journals because of quotas. As a result, they would write academic papers in a terse style that was extremely difficult to understand. I recommend that we not follow that model on Wikipedia. Sławomir Biały (talk) 00:43, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Infinitive splitting is OK. Oh. Darn.  :( All those words I thought I saved were necessary. If you would prefer another maxim, then I will substitute "eliminate unnecessary words"; e.g., "Many" for "a large number of". Duxwing (talk) 01:55, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Presumably, based on your reply, you are unable to read more than a few words at a time. That is fine, but someone with that particular reading disability should not be in the business of rewriting the sentences other people wrote. Sławomir Biały (talk) 10:44, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
What? Duxwing (talk) 14:31, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
You sarcastically replied to the first ten words of a post that was several hundred words long. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:48, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I was sincere throughout, agreeing with you about the genitive case and lamenting my having deleted necessary words. I meant not to offend you. Want a longer reply to all your points? :) You can find answers to some--e.g., why I joked about rocketry--in my reply to McGeddon.Duxwing (talk) 16:16, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Be careful. Sometime words that are not "necessary" are still useful. Dicklyon (talk) 02:03, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Those words would be necessary because they are useful. Duxwing (talk) 02:47, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
One of your edits that changed "a large number of" to "many" was referenced to a source that used "a great number of", or something like that. You should not think it is OK to replace such things in general. You should carefully consider each one, and only make the change if you see a reason that it makes the sentence better. If it just makes it shorter and fits some rule of thumb, just say no. Dicklyon (talk) 05:00, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
What rule says I must write what the source wrote when the source is not being quoted? Moreover, how could one follow it without becoming bogged down in potentially hundreds of pages of text for every change and the impossible task of demonstrating that no detail had been overlooked? Following this rule would grind Wikipedian development to a halt. Finally, shortening prose ("concision") is part of copy editing, wherein it is among the "five Cs". Duxwing (talk) 14:22, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Although shortening prose is part of copyediting, not every phrase, sentence, or paragraph can be shortened and an editor needs to know when it is and is not appropriate to do so. Sometimes, especially in scientific, mathematical, and technical articles, the words chosen have a very specific and precise meaning and cannot be changed without altering that meaning. Other times, editors have reached consensus about the language used and it is inappropriate for someone else to change that wording. Still other times, the wording reflects the references used to construct a passage in question and changing the wording can mean that the passage no longer reflects those references.

Good copyediting requires an experienced eye and the judicious application of writing guidelines. Good copyeditors are also often at least somewhat familiar with the subject area of the text they're editing so they know when to apply guidelines and when to leave the text as-is.You seem to have your own set of writing rules that do not completely conform to WP:MOS and you are indiscriminately applying your rules to articles outside of your technical expertise. I know you mean well but this kind of heavy-handed editing is more disruptive than useful. Ca2james (talk) 19:23, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Hey, thanks for commenting! {smiley} I agree with the first and second sentences, whereas I don't understand the third and especially how it applies to "a great number of". I seem to copy-edit best when working with a relevant expert; perhaps working with one on each article would generally solve this subtle-meaning-change problem? Duxwing (talk) 00:31, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
It isn't just your technical knowledge that is a problem; it's your attitude towards your editing. I'm not convinced that you actually want to improve your edits because you have so far either refused to hear the many editors who have commented on the many flaws on your "copyedits" (while at the same time steadfastly insisting that you are correct) or you have focused the discussion on the minutiae of grammar rules. You have not made a serious effort to examine your editing philosophy or to try to understand why your edits are so poorly-received. Because you haven't so far worked well with experienced editors, I disagree that you edit best when working with someone.
Before you say that editors are ignoring you and that they're not helping you, ask yourself why you think they might do that. Could it be because you challenge others to explain why they think your edits are bad instead of accepting that they might have a point? The onus is on you to make good changes, not for others to explain in exhaustive detail why your edits are not good.
The best way to solve your editing problems is to stop doing what you have called "copyediting". Stop imposing your grammar and style rules onto pages here. If you must do copyediting, limit it to basic copyediting tasks: fix punctuation, fill in missing words, and remove duplicated words. At the same time, work with your mentor and really try to understand why your rules and approach don't work. Maybe also try contributing to the encyclopaedia in other ways. Ca2james (talk) 03:48, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Comma after e.g.[edit]

Well, this seems like a silly thing to have started a revert war over. According to, a comma after e.g. or i.e. is common in American English but not in British English. I don't see much to indicate a preference for any variety of English here, so our usage should just be consistent throughout the article. Before Mhartl's first comma insertion ([2]) there were six instances of "e.g." in the article, three with a comma and three without. How do we determine which is proper? For the sake of argument I checked that the first edit on the page was by an American editor ([User:Jaknouse], [3]) and that's the best I can come up with for which ENGVAR is appropriate here. That says we should add the commas, which is the current version.

Any different thoughts, Charlesdrakew Mhartl Johnuniq? Ivanvector (talk) 13:57, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Eyes - Optimal Solution[edit]

Removed this sentence from the introductory paragraph on eyes. " The similarity of the structures in other respects, despite the complex nature of the organ, illustrates how there are some biological challenges (e.g., vision) that have an optimal solution."

There is no citation that the camera eye is the optimal solution to vision. Without a reference the claim seems dubious. I did not see any way of rewording the sentence without arriving at the unsourced claim of camera vision being the optimal solution to vision. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vile-eight (talkcontribs) 23:47, 5 December 2014 (UTC)