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.

  • $\begingroup$ The level of lake malawi has dropped by 200 meters at least 20 times in the previous 1.3 million years, forcing them into small lakes, and there are lots of theories about "cichlid evolution" on google, including a 54 minute talk video. Fish have a lot of convergent evolution too, there are kinds of holotype fish forms which appear again and again in different continents and different seas, the same as an australian and european magpie. Cichlids are similar to many species like snappers, even dolphins are said to be convergent with sharks. $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2018 at 11:27
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    $\begingroup$ Writing "convergent evolution" in google images is one of the most fascinating pages out there: google.fr/…: ........ and ..... google.fr/…: $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2018 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ They have diversified to fit into many different niches. $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2018 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to read about adaptive radiation $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Oct 17, 2018 at 19:53

1 Answer 1



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

--Convergent Evolution within an Adaptive Radiation of Cichlid Fishes


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