examples of homologous structures

What Are The Examples Of Homologous Structures? 

In your school, you might learn various examples of homologous structures in plants and animals. Here we will polish your concept regarding the homologous structure and its examples. Homologous structures have referred to the two things that have an equivalent role or relationship. Homology is important in comparative biology because it makes it possible to decide if two different animals or plants share a common ancestor. Mainly, homology in this context means that there are two species that have related parts that do similar things, but that is not exactly the same. Homologous means ‘identity’ which is used to describe things that have some sort of similarity in some ways. Let’s begin and learn the different examples of homologous structures

What Is The Homologous Structure? 

Homologous structure means a similar structure that evolved from a common ancestor. In homology, the organ or bone with similar underlying anatomical traits is found in different animals. These structures support the idea that the different animals originated from a common ancestor and it is proof or evidence of evolution

Homology occurs when very different animals have bones or other structures that appear very similar in form but not in function. This means, despite their outward differences, animals with homologous structures are somehow related. 

Below are some examples of homologous structures in animals that humans share with other creatures from the animal kingdom and some examples of homologous structures in animals. 

What Are The Examples Of Homologous Structures? 

There are multiple examples of Homologous structures but, here we have listed some common and important examples as, 

  1. A Dolphin’s Flipper 
  2. A Wing Of Bird 
  3. A Leg Of Cat 
  4. A Human Arm 
  5. A Forelimb Of A Frog 
  6. The Leaves Of Pitcher Plant 
  7. Antennae Of Grasshopper 
  8. The Tailbone Of Human 

8 Examples Of Homologous Structures? 

There are several examples of homologous structures such as the leg of a cat, an arm of a human, the leaves of a pitcher plant, and a wing of a bird, etc. Below we will discuss more than 3 examples of homologous structures in detail one by one. Without a moment delay, let’s know them in detail,

1. A Dolphin’s Flipper

A Dolphin’s Flipper 

A flipper of a dolphin is a homologous structure like a human limb, the wings of a bird, etc. the flipper of a dolphin or whale and a human limb, also the wing of the bird have different purposes, but are similar and share common traits. They are considered homologous structures because they have similar underlying anatomy.

2. A Wing Of Bird

A Wing Of Bird 

The wing of a bird, the wing of a bat, the leg of a frog, and the flipper of a dolphin or whale are homologous structures. It is because they all have the same anatomy. This means, they have the same skeletal structure, and they perform different functions. Flippers of dolphins are used to swim whereas the wings of birds are used to fly in the sky. And the basic rule of homologous structures is that homologous structures have the same skeletal anatomy but have different purposes. The homologous organs are for different purposes.

3. A Leg Of Cat

A Leg of Cat 

The limbs of humans, whales, and bats are homologous with the legs of a cat. Nevertheless,  whether it is an arm, leg, flipper, or wing, these structures are built upon the same bone structure. Homologies are the result of divergent evolution. As you already know, homology arises when two organisms share a trait due to linkage with a common ancestor.

4. A Human Arm

A Human Arm  

One of the common examples of homologous structures is the wings of a bat and the arms of humans. The bats and humans are both mammals, so they share a common ancestry. Both a bat and a human’s arm share a similar internal bone structure, even though they appear different externally. Other homologous structures to the human arm are the flipper of a whale, the wing of a bird, and the leg of a cat. The size doesn’t matter in the homologous structures.

5. A Forelimbs Of A Frog

A Forelimbs Of A Frog 

A forelimb of a frog is a homologous organ to the forelimb of a bird, a rabbit, and a lizard. They look very different because they have evolved differently to account for the specific lifestyle of each animal. Also, they share a common ancestor and a common set of bones.

These different structures are also homologous to the wings of the bat, the arms of people, and the other animal parts described above.

6. The Leaves Of Pitcher Plant

The Leaves Of Pitcher Plant 

The pitcher plant consists of a leaf-like lid, sparsely covered with trichomes, and a collar-like ribbed upper rim called the peristome, bearing nectaries, a slippery zone, covered with lunate cells, and a think epicuticular wax layer, and a digestive zone, regularly covered with multiple digestive glands, and a pool of digestive fluid.

7. Antennae Of Grasshopper

Antennae Of Grasshopper 

The antennae and the mouthparts of different insects like the grasshopper, the honeybee, the butterfly, and the mosquito are used for different purposes. The grasshopper, for instance, primarily bites and chews while the honeybee bites and the butterfly sucks pollen. Although different today, these different parts are examples of homologous organs because they share the same basic structure which was just modified or enlarged as needed for the particular species.

8. The Tailbone Of Human

The Tailbone Of Human 

The tailbone of a human being is a homologous structure to the tailbone of a monkey. The tailbone is actually called the tailbone because of this shared homology. Because a human doesn’t have a tail but it is believed that, in the past humans have tails. But humans never use their tails so gradually the tail vanishes completely but the tailbone remains as it was.

Now, you know all the examples of homologous structures in evolution

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What Are 3 Examples Of Homologous Structures?

The arm of a human, the wing of a bird or a bat, the leg of a dog and the flipper of a dolphin or whale are homologous structures. They are different and have a different purpose, but they are similar and share common traits.

What Is Homologous Give Example?

Homologous structure- are basic body structures of animals having similar structure but different function. Eg:- Arm of Human, wing of bat, and front leg of horse all of them have similar basic structures but entirely different functions. Yes, It is necessary that homologous structures always have a common ancestor.

What Are The Types Of Homologous?

Dependent on the level of comparison four types of homology are defined: ( 1) Iterative ( = serial = homonomy), (2) ontogenetic, (3) di- or polymor- phic, and (4) supraspecific homology. The significance of all four types for evolutionary biology and phylogenetic analysis is outlined.

Is A Human Nose Homologous?

For instance, your nose, a pig’s snout, and an elephant’s trunk can all be called noses. Though these noses have different functions and appearances, all have a similar location and structure. Such similar features are called homologous.


While reading this article you gained plenty of knowledge regarding homology and its examples. If someone asked you what are homologous structures give an example, then you may get a hint from this article. Homology or homologous structures can be traced back to the last common ancestor that the animals shared. For instance, if the wing of a bat and the forearm of a person are examples of homology, this means that the anatomical structures of the forearm and of the rings were both present in the last common ancestor along the evolutionary chain that was shared by the bird and bat. So, this was all about the examples of homologous