Are the cichlid fish in Africa an example of divergent or convergent evolution? On the one hand they have evolved similar features to each other indicating convergent evolution, but on the other, they formed as a result of an adaptive radiation which indicates divergent evolution.
Recent theoretical models, however, predict that convergence should be common within species-rich communities, such as species assemblages resulting from adaptive radiations. Here, we present the most extensive quantitative analysis to date of an adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes, discovering multiple instances of convergence in body and trophic morphology. ...
- Independent adaptive radiations often produce convergent phenotypes
- In Lake Tanganyika, convergent phenotypes evolved within a single adaptive radiation
- These convergent morphologies are associated with adaptations to the same niche
- Distantly related yet morphologically similar species coexist in the same habitat