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  Analogy, in the life sciences, is the comparison of two biological systems which have similarity of appearance or function but no genetic link. The concept was defined by Richard Owen, in the 19th century, to differentiate between cases of homology and those cases which were similar only at the level of superficial structure or function. The wings of an insect, for example, are analogous with those of a bird, because they have evolved separately to achieve the same function with a fundamentally different structure. RB

See also evolution; morphology.



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