By George McGhee
Charles Darwin famously concluded at the beginning of Species with a imaginative and prescient of ''endless types so much beautiful'' always evolving. greater than one hundred fifty years later many evolutionary biologists see no longer never-ending varieties however the related, or very comparable, types evolving again and again in lots of autonomous species lineages. A porpoise's fishlike fins, for instance, usually are not inherited from fish ancestors yet are independently derived convergent features. during this ebook, George McGhee describes the ubiquity of the phenomenon of convergent evolution and connects it on to the concept that of evolutionary constraint--the concept that the variety of evolutionary pathways to be had to lifestyles aren't never-ending, yet rather constrained. Convergent evolution happens on all degrees, from tiny natural molecules to whole ecosystems of species. McGhee demonstrates its ubiquity in animals, either herbivore and carnivore; in vegetation; in ecosystems; in molecules, together with DNA, proteins, and enzymes; or even in minds, describing problem-solving habit and crew habit because the items of convergence. for every species instance, he offers an abbreviated checklist of the main nodes in its phylogenetic type, permitting the reader to determine the evolutionary dating of a bunch of species that experience independently advanced the same trait by means of convergent evolution. McGhee analyzes the function of useful and developmental constraints in generating convergent evolution, and considers the medical and philosophical implications of convergent evolution for the predictability of the evolutionary procedure.