Divergent evolution leads to homologous structures. can u explain this statement with the help of an example?
Homologous structures are the structure which have the same structure but perform different functions. These are evolved from a common ancestor.
Divergent evolution is the evolutionary process in which an ancestor species evolves to become two species and these species continue to evolve over time to become more and more different from each other. Here a trait from a common ancestor evolves into different variations over a period of time. As homologous are the structure evolved from a common ancestor, they are a result of divergent evolution. Thus, divergent evolution leads to homologous organs.
For example, the limbs of the vertebrate are homologous organs and have evolved by the process of divergent evolution. Whale flippers, frog forelimbs, and human arms are evolved from the front flippers of an ancient jawless fish. They all share a common ancestor (jawless fish) and hence they have the same structure but during evolution they were developed to perform different functions; whale flippers, frog forelimbs and human arms, all the three perform different functions.
Thus, jawless fish have gone through the process of divergent evolution leading to homologous structures i.e. whale flippers, frog forelimb and human arms.