Evolution

A girl and boy looking at three cube blocks that have different pictures of animals on each side. To the left is a yellow and blue information panel.

Convergent evolution over many millions of years can result in different animals developing similar adaptations to survive in their common environment.

How it works

Match up each column of animals in a group (mammals in one column, reptiles in the next column, etc).

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Why do some unrelated animals look similar?
  • Do the matching animals in each column look different to each other?
  • Do the animals in a row have similar features?

Background

Many unrelated animals have evolved specialised features (called adaptations) to help them move through mid-air, underwater or underground. When different animals develop similar features over many millions of years, this is called convergent evolution.

Finding the science in your world

Convergent evolution can result in animals that look alike. Dolphins are mammals just like humans, but look more like sharks, which are fish!