Monday, April 6, 2009

Sponge Bob is not related to humans

Pre-Cambrian life is a truly fascinating subject. A recent study looked at the genetic evolution of 128 genes of 55 species to determine the order of early branching of taxa (sponge groups, ctenophores, placozoans, cnidarians, and bilaterians). One of the questions asked was whether the nervous system evolved once or twice in the course of early evolution. The study also sheds some light on the nature of sponges, a taxon that had already fascinated Charles Darwin at the beginning of his career.

"Phylogenomics revives traditional views on deep animal relationships";
Hervé Philippe Romain Derelle, Philippe Lopez, Kerstin Pick, Carole Borchiellini, Nicole Boury-Esnault, Jean Vacalet, Emmanuelle Renard, Evelyn Houliston, Eric Quéinnec, Corinne Da Silva, Patrick Wincker, Hervé Le Guyader, Sally Leys, Daniel J. Jackson, Fabian Schreiber, Dirk Erpenbeck, Burkhard Morgenstern, Gert Wörheide und Michaël Manuel;
Current Biology online 2. April 2009;

See also: Deep Phylogeny Project

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