• In Divergent evolution two species have common ancestors, but they develop different characteristics because of changes in the environment to which they adapt slowly and giving rise to new species.
• For example: The bones of forelimbs of whale, bat, cheetah and man are similar in structure but serve different functions. The similarity in structure points towards a common ancestry but because their environments were different, they adapted accordingly.
• Forelimbs of a whale are for swimming, forelimbs of bat are for flying and forelimbs of cheetah are for walking/running. But all these forelimbs have the same anatomy: humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, metacarpals and phalanges.
• Divergent evolution can occur due to changes in abiotic factors (temperature, pH, sunlight level etc) or biotic factors (living components of the ecosystem).
• The driving force behind the divergent evolution is adaptations to a new habitat and changed environmental conditions.
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