eAge Tutor




What is Coevolution

coevolution_image002The term coevolution describes organisms that are ecologically intimate reciprocally affect each other's evolution. For example, predators and prey, or hosts and parasites –Morphology of herbivore gets affected if it feeds on a plant which has a morphological changes due to evolution .This might affect the evolution of the plant, which might affect the evolution of the herbivore...and it go on..


  • The change of a biological object triggered by the change of a related object.
  • Involves reciprocal genetic change in interacting species.
  • Can occur at many biological levels
  • Microscopic as correlated mutations between amino acids in a protein
  • Macroscopic as covarying traits between different species in an environment.
  • The concept of coevolution was briefly described by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species.
  • Happen when different species have close ecological interactions with one another.


Ecological relationships

  1. Predator/prey and parasite/host - A predator eats its prey is the predation.. The predator often acquires many important feeding adaptations such as acute senses, claws, teeth, fangs, stingers, or poison that can help catch and chew the organisms on which they feed
  2. Competitive species - Interspecific competition- different species compete for the same resource in an ecosystem (e.g. food or living space). intraspecific competition- involves organisms of the same species
  3. Mutualistic species -Two organisms biologically interact where each individual derives a fitness benefit - Relationships like that between ants and lycaenids are called mutualism and they provide some of the most charming details in natural history.

Coadaptation Vs Coevolution

Coadaptation between two species, such as an ant and a caterpillar, is not enough to confirm that the two have coevolved together. It could be that the two lineages have been evolving independently, and it just turned that the two forms were mutually adapted to each other.

coevolution_image006Role of Birds

  • Predation by birds drives the coevolution of model and mimetic butterflies.
  • Some butterflies have evolved the ability to store poisonous chemicals from the food plants they eat as caterpillars and become distasteful.
  • Birds won’t these buterfiles and this reduces the butterfiles chances of being eaten,
  • Other butterflies have gradually evolved color patterns that mimic those of the distasteful butterflies (called "models").
  • It is disadvantageous for the models to be mimicked, because if the mimics become common then most of the butterflies with the model's color pattern taste good, the birds may resume attacking the models.
  • Being tasted and spit out by a bird is a most dangerous experience for a butterfly.
  • Therefore, mimicry presumably leads to a coevolutionary race -- the mimics evolving toward the color patterns of the models, and the models evolving away from the converging mimics.
  • The birds actually may be directly involved in the entire coevolutionary complex, since they may be under selection for better powers of discrimination.

Want to know more about Biological significance of co evolution?, click here to schedule live homework help from a certified tutor!


About eAgetutor.com

eAgeTutor.com is the premier online tutoring provider. Using materials developed by highly qualified educators and leading content developers, a team of top-notch software experts, and a group of passionate educators, eAgeTutor works to ensure the success and satisfaction of all of its students.

Contact us today to learn more about our guaranteed results and discuss how we can help make the dreams of the student in your life come true!


Reference Links



Blog Subscription