And did not likely evolve from a “single-celled ancestor resembling a modern sponge cell known as a choanocyte.” From ScienceDaily:
“We’ve found that the first multicellular animals probably weren’t like the modern-day sponge cells, but were more like a collection of convertible cells,” Professor Degnan said.
“The great-great-great-grandmother of all cells in the animal kingdom, so to speak, was probably quite similar to a stem cell.
“This is somewhat intuitive as, compared to plants and fungi, animals have many more cell types, used in very different ways — from neurons to muscles — and cell-flexibility has been critical to animal evolution from the start.”
The findings disprove a long-standing idea: that multi-celled animals evolved from a single-celled ancestor resembling a modern sponge cell known as a choanocyte.
“Scattered throughout the history of evolution are major transitions, including the leap from a world of microscopic single-cells to a world of multi-celled animals,” Professor Degnan said.
“With multicellularity came incredible complexity, creating the animal, plant, fungi and algae kingdoms we see today.
“These large organisms differ from the other more-than-99-per-cent of biodiversity that can only be seen under a microscope.” … “We’re taking a core theory of evolutionary biology and turning it on its head,” she said. Paper. (paywall) – Shunsuke Sogabe, William L. Hatleberg, Kevin M. Kocot, Tahsha E. Say, Daniel Stoupin, Kathrein E. Roper, Selene L. Fernandez-Valverde, Sandie M. Degnan, Bernard M. Degnan. Pluripotency and the origin of animal multicellularity. Nature, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1290-4 More.
The first cell was “quite similar to a stem cell”? This sounds like a case for intelligent design, lacking only the career suicide of saying so.
See also: How Do Cells Interpret The “Dizzying” Communications Pathways In Multicellular Life Forms?
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