Well, that’s how Bob Grant puts it at Scientist:
Researchers studying an amoeba species have determined that some of its proteins bear a striking similarity to proteins in multicellular animals, suggesting that the leap from unicellularity to multicellularity may have been easier than previously suspected. The protist, Capsaspora owczarzaki, undergoes life-cycle transitions with the aid of phosphosignaling and proteome regulation in much the same way that multicellular animals direct the differentiation and role of cells performing different functions within an individual organism, the scientists reported last week (October 13) in Developmental Cell.
“Animals are regarded as this very special branch, as in, there had to be so many innovations to be an animal,” David Booth, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who wasn’t involved in the study, told Science News. The new work shows “a lot of the machinery was there millions of years before animals evolved.” More.
By accident, of course.
See also: Multicellulars arose by “long slow dance”? (a different story)
Magnetism enabled multicellular life? (another different story)
One random mutation powers multicellular life (a third story)
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