Convergent evolution of pythons, boas
|June 15, 2016||Posted by News under Convergent evolution|
The Australian National University (ANU) study found that by living in the same habitat, pythons and boas evolved independently to look similar. This happened at least five times in different habitats. Aquatic pythons look like aquatic boas, burrowing pythons look like borrowing boas and tree-dwelling pythons look like tree-dwelling boas.
Other famous examples of convergent evolution are sharks and dolphins, which are not related but have evolved similar body plans. Similarly, the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, a marsupial mammal, and the wolf, a placental mammal, evolved similar body plans.
Esquerre attempts to pin all this on natural selection (Darwinism) and adaptation, then admits:
not all evolution was driven by natural selection, but examples such as pythons and boas reinforce its importance in shaping biological diversity. More. Paper. (paywall) – Damien Esquerré, J. Scott Keogh. Parallel selective pressures drive convergent diversification of phenotypes in pythons and boas. Ecology Letters, 2016; 19 (7): 800 DOI: 10.1111/ele.12620
Actually, convergence challenges claims about natural selection.
Sharks are fish and dolphins are mammals, believed to have once been land dwellers that later adopted an aquatic lifestyle. Marsupials and placentals are very different type of mammals. Michael Denton’s argument for common patterns that keep appearing in life forms would fit the situation better than claims about natural selection (where there is no particular reason we should expect to see this level of convergence).
See also: Sometimes Denton sounds like a Darwin who got way more right
Evolution appears to converge on goals—but in Darwinian terms, is that possible?
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