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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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Functional and Developmental Constraint in Convergent Evolution

Functional and Developmental Constraint in Convergent Evolution

(p.244) (p.245) 7 Functional and Developmental Constraint in Convergent Evolution
Convergent Evolution

George R. McGhee

The MIT Press

This chapter deals with the theoretical analysis of evolutionary constraint in producing convergent evolution. It investigates the implications of theoretically possible, but nevertheless nonexistent, ecological roles on Earth for the concept of convergent evolution, and also analyzes the phenomenon of convergent evolution with respect to the spectrum of existent, nonexistent, and impossible biological forms. The chapter shows that the evolution of development on Earth may have been a two-stage process, and also suggests that possible, but nonexistent, biological forms can be visualized using the techniques of theoretical morphology.

Keywords:   evolutionary constraint, convergent evolution, Earth, evolution of development, theoretical morphology, biological forms

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