From Live Science:
Tehrani discovered that “Little Red Riding Hood” seems to have descended from the more ancient story “The Wolf and the Kids” — but so did African versions that independently evolved to look like “Little Red Riding Hood.”
“This exemplifies a process biologists call convergent evolution, in which species independently evolve similar adaptations,” Tehrani explained in a statement. “The fact that Little Red Riding Hood ‘evolved twice’ from the same starting point suggests it holds a powerful appeal that attracts our imaginations.”
The analysis also suggests that the Chinese version of “Little Red Riding Hood” derives from ancient European tales and not vice versa as other researchers have suggested.
“Specifically, the Chinese blended together ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’ ‘The Wolf and the Kids’ and local folktales to create a new, hybrid story,” Tehrani said.
(via K Tempest Bradford)