Note in Science page
Created Apr 14 08, Updated Mar 05 10 14:50
Ctenophores: ultimate animal ancestors? go to comments

An innocuous-(but beautiful)-looking ctenophore (comb jelly) might be the direct progeny of the first animal on Earth. A massive analysis of the evolutionary biology of animals suggests that the earliest member of the metazoa kingdom was related to those comb jelly.
The jelly possesses distinct tissues and a nervous system! whereas the sponge (Porifera, “simplest true animal”), lacks both, showing that evolution doesn’t automatically means increasing complexity.


The placement of ctenophores as the sister group to all other sampled metazoans is strongly supported in all our analyses.

If corroborated by further analyses, it would have major implications for early animal evolution, indicating either that sponges have been greatly simplified or that the complex morphology of ctenophores has arisen independently from that of other metazoans.

Sampled Ctenophores (in study):
Mertensiid sp.
Mnemiopsis leidyi ( link)

‘hope a complete sequenced genome will soon be available!...

Nature article [Broad phylogenomic sampling improves resolution of the animal tree of life]

Ctenophora entries in UniProt

Add a comment:


(will not be published) (required)


(ascii characters only)