Scientists claim to have resolved the eternal discussion about the evolution of animals.
Sponges would be the common ancestors of all anatomically complex animals, a new investigation has revealed. This alters the old conception of the researchers, who considered as ancestors the ctenophoras.
The research was carried out by the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. The team had to analyze diverse and extensive genomic data published between 2015 and 2017. They also applied state-of-the-art statistical techniques to test whether certain evolutionary models can adequately describe the genomic data sets used to study the early evolution of animals.
Finally, analyzes have shown that sponges were probably the common ancestor of all forms of animal life.
The study’s author, Davide Pisani, commented: “Sponges are simple, humble creatures that live on the bottom of the sea; They are filter feeders, they do not do much. While a ctenophora (comb jelly) is a very different creature. It is extremely pretty and quite complex ». In addition, Pisani believes that the ancestor of all animals is very similar to jellyfish, can be propelled through water, create some luminous patterns, and incredibly have a simple nervous system, in addition to an early digestive system, which compendes a mouth and one year.
According to this study, the current animals come from a single common ancestor, a specimen like the current sponges. Obviously, there is much to be investigated yet, but this could strongly support and drive research into the evolution of the species.