divergent evolution

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

di·ver·gent ev·o·lu·tion

the process by which a species or gene product gives rise to two or more different products.

divergent evolution

EVOLUTION from a common ancestral form.


the process of development in which an organ or organism becomes more and more complex by the differentiation of its parts; a continuous and progressive change according to certain laws and by means of resident forces.

convergent evolution
the development, in animals that are only distantly related, of similar structures or functions in adaptation to similar environment.
divergent evolution
the development of different characteristics in animals that were closely related in response to being placed in different environments.
References in periodicals archive ?
Divergent evolution of a specific protein fold and identification of its oldest surviving ancestor.
In addition to showing that small hammerheads evolved from a large ancestor, the team showed that the "signature" cephalofoils of hammerheads underwent divergent evolution in different lineages over time, likely due to selective environmental pressures, said Martin.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus comparison: divergent evolution on two continents.