Bats and dolphins were found to use independently develop echolocation using the same genes. And get this:
Joe Parker, also at Queen Mary, University of London, compared the bat genetic sequences to those from more than a dozen other mammals, including the bottlenose dolphin. He focused on the 2300 genes that exist in single copies in all the bats, the dolphin, and at least five other mammals. He evaluated how similar each gene was to its counterparts in various bats and the dolphin. The analysis revealed that 200 genes had independently changed in the same ways, Parker, Rossiter and their colleagues report today in Nature. Several of the genes are involved in hearing, but the others have no clear link to echolocation so far; some genes with shared changes are important for vision, but most have functions that are unknown.
And what about the effect of all this convergence on unquestionable assumptions about common descent?
No family trees are entirely safe from these misleading effects, Castoe says. “And we currently have no way to deal with this.” Elizabeth Pennisi, “Bats and Dolphins Evolved Echolocation in Same Way” at Science
… sound of whistling…
See also: Move over, mammals. Spiders provide milk for their young too.
Evolution appears to converge on goals—but in Darwinian terms, is that possible?
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