Convergent evolution News

Golden jackals: Two distantly related species look the same

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From National Geographic:

The golden jackal, which lives in East Africa and Eurasia, is actually two distantly related species—and one of them is a new species of wolf, a new study says. (Also see “Wolves Identified by Unique Howls, May Help Rare Species.”)

Dubbed the African golden wolf, it’s the first new species of canid—a group that includes wolves, coyotes, and jackals—discovered in 150 years. Africa is also home to two other wolf species, the gray wolf and Ethiopian wolf. (Read “Africa’s Last Wolves” in National Geographic magazine.)

Though golden jackals look mostly the same—the Eurasian animals are slightly smaller than the African ones, with a narrower skull and slightly weaker teeth—in-depth analysis of their DNA revealed two species that have evolved separately for millennia.

“I was very surprised,” said study leader Klaus-Peter Koepfli, a biologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. More.

Aw, don’t be surprised. It’s just another Darwin-incidence. Happens a lot, we hear.

See also: Evolution appears to converge on goals—but in Darwinian terms, is that possible?

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4 Replies to “Golden jackals: Two distantly related species look the same

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    They also both look similar to coyotes. Which makes sense, now that I look at this phylogenetic tree.

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Variations of the same design. Guided purposeful meaningful variations.

    “Darwincidence” lol:)

  3. 3
    Mapou says:

    And a Chihuahua belongs to the same species as a Great Dane?

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    They are the same. Dividing them is based on traits. I’m sure they can breed together. Why wouldn’t there be a wee bit of difference?
    The cariation in them is unlikely from evolution. Selection unlikely thought one of them needed a different snoat or skull size. They are less different then people. Its not a evolution thing but trivial variation.
    The great concept of evolution did not act here. Even if it was true. Too much is made about variations in creatures.
    So I think saying they are two species is a waste of time. Its like saying mankind is in many species. We are not. Its poor classification concepts from the old ones .

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