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Give an example of characteristics being used to determine how close two species are in evolutionary terms.



Presence of similar characteristics in organisms can be used to determine if the particular species have common ancestors and are related on evolutionary grounds.

For Example

In case of Homologous characteristics :

  • Basic structure of the limbs of frogs, lizards, birds and humans is the same .
  • But, their functions are different .


  • This means they evolved differently from a common ancestor due to different usage of limbs. This is known as Divergent Evolution


In case of Analogous Characteristics :


  • Both birds and bats have wings.
  • Structure of bat wings is skin stretched over elongated fingers
  • In birds , the arms (wings) are covered in feathers .
  • Their origin and structure are different but function is the same ; they help to fly, so they are examples of Convergent Evolution .
  • They are also called Analogous Characteristics .


These characteristics can hence be used to determine how close two species are in evolutionary terms.

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