Ctenophore Comb Jellies declared First Animals on Earth, 700m years ago

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A team of researchers has determined that comb jellies, Ctenophores, were the first animals on earth, existing 700 million years ago, and pre-dating sponges by 100 million years. They are also the most recent common ancestor of all animals, (including ourselves,) and can still be found in the oceans today. This may lead to a better understanding of how all animals evolved.

Scientists had narrowed the earliest animals down to two groups – ctenophores and sponges, Comb jellies differ from true jellyfish in that they propel themselves with eight rows of cilia, whereas Jellyfish propel themselves by squirting water. In an evolutionary timeline, Ctenophores appeared first, then sponges, then worms, at 500m years, with the first vertebrates appearing 450 million years ago. The dinosaurs appeared 230m years ago. Despite the discovery, there is no fossil record for Ctenophores as their soft bodies were not preserved. The links were made instead using living Ctenophores and by comparing their genomes.

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Yes, I know a jellyfish is not an anemone... I'm great at raising bubble tip anemones but I'd be terrible at jellyfish lol... and there are even more differences! Anyhow, out of all the Forum areas, this seemed the best place for this given their squishiness... other moderators feel free to move this if you prefer this thread somewhere else on Forum