What happens when traits jump between branches of the tree of life

We all must play the game of life with the cards we’re dealt, so the common aphorism goes. In biology, this means organisms must compete through natural selection with the genes and anatomy they were born with. But the saying is a lie. Okay, it’s not exactly a lie, but modern research suggests that the game of life is far more complicated than we had anticipated. There are opportunities to swap cards and even steal other players’ hands.