Who Did It First? Sponges or Comb Jellies? #365papers – 2017 – 83

#365papers for March 24, 2017

Simion, Philippe, Baruain, Jager, Richter, Di Franco, Roure, Satoh, Queinnec, Ereskovsky, Lapebie, Corre, Delsuc, King, Worheide, and Manuel, 2017, A large and consistent phylogenomic dataset supports sponges as the sister group to all other animals: Current Biology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.031

What’s it about?

There is interest in which, of the most simple multicellular animals that live today, were the first to appear. Which are the most primitive? Which are ancestral to all other multicellular animals? Sponges and comb jellies are the simplest, most primitive animals alive today. Which came first? This paper provides new results suggesting sponges came first.

Why does it matter?

This affects our understanding of the origins of important but basic features of mulitcellular animals, such as nerves and guts.

Why did I read this?

The origin of sponges and other multicellular life is important to the class I’m teaching right now, so I was interested.

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