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Convergent EvolutionLimited Forms Most Beautiful$
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George McGhee

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016421

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016421.001.0001

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Convergent Animals

Convergent Animals

(p.13) 2 Convergent Animals
Convergent Evolution

George R. McGhee

The MIT Press

This chapter is concerned with the convergent evolution of structures and systems that are primarily for defense. It also reviews the convergent evolution of reproductive traits in animals, and explains the walking-locomotion morphologies. The chapter shows that the mode of locomotion is usually independent of how the animal feeds. In addition to locomotion, the particular mode of feeding of an animal imposes additional functional constraints. The chapter also mentions that both teeth and claws have been repeatedly and convergently modified to develop highly efficient killing structures in animal predators. It notes that plants are very different organisms from animals; for one thing, they can synthesize their own food.

Keywords:   convergent evolution, structures, systems, defense, reproductive traits, locomotion, animal predators

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