Are bats and butterflies closely related?

No, Bats are mammals and butterflies are in the insect category. The butterfly is an insect belonging to the order Lepidoptera, which includes moths and skippers as well. The earliest known lepidopterans are from the Triassic period, some 120 million years ago. The order is divided into four suborders: the primitive (or basal) Micropterigidae, plus the more advanced Zeugloptera, Aglossata, and Neolepidoptera.

Bats (Chiroptera) are mammals that form a large group within Chiroptera; there are about 1,240 bat species divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera (large Old World fruit bats) and Microchiroptera (small bats found worldwide).

They make up 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with over 1,240 different types of bats found across most major landmasses except Antarctica and Australasia.

Are bats and butterflies homologous?

No, butterfly and bat wings are not homologous. Homology refers to features that have a common evolutionary origin. Butterfly and bat wings are not homologous because though their functions are the same, they have different designs.

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Are bats and butterflies Analogous?

A butterfly’s wing and a bat’s wing are both analogous structures. This is somewhat confusing because the word “homologous” is used to describe two different things. Sometimes it means related (e.g., a bat’s wing and a dog’s paw are homologous because they are both limbs). Sometimes it means that the structures have different evolutionary origins (e.g., a bat’s wing and a butterfly’s wing are homologous in this sense). Some structures are both analogous and homologous — butterflies and bats have related wings yet are different.

Butterflies’ wings develop as an outgrowth of the body wall. Their wings consist of an epidermal layer with scales on top, supported by veins underneath; blood pumped through the veins makes them move. Bats’ wings develop from their forelimbs, which have bones just like our arms do; Their wings consist of skin stretched over these bones, with muscles attached to the bones that make them move.

Both the batwing and butterfly wing have the same function: flying through the air. The difference, though, is in how they evolved. They are analogous because of this reason, yet homologous because both have wings that came from a common ancestor.

What are analogous structures and homologous structures?

Homologous Structures

Structures similar in the anatomy of living things because they came from a common ancestor are known as homologous structures. Though they may look the same or serve the same function, these structures don’t necessarily have to.

The word homologous comes from the ancient Greek word homos, which means same, and logos, which means relation. As a result, homologous literally means sharing the same relation. Homologous structures are structures found in related organisms that were passed down from a common ancestor. These structures in descendants may or may not serve the same function. The structures are homologous because they evolved to adapt to various environments.

Analogous structures 

A structure in two organisms that looks like even though they may have evolved in two different ways are called analogous structures. The term analogous structures comes from the root word analogy, which means how the structures can look different yet still be similar.

Analogous structures are structures that do the same thing but are found in different organisms, usually in animals that have separate origins and different evolutionary lines.

Not only are they not biologically related, but they occupy separate habitats. This does not preclude them from evolving parts or organs that accomplish the same purpose but in different ways. An analogous structure arose as a result of a species adapting to similar environments.

Thus, bats and butterflies are not closely related to each other. They both come from different classifications of animals. A bat is a member of the order Chiroptera, and a butterfly belongs to the order Lepidoptera. The only similarity is that both have analogous wings.

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