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Sponges, believed to be oldest animals, are thought to be even older, at 890 mya

At The Scientist: In fact, if the new fossil finds are confirmed to be sponges, “they would be not just the oldest sponges; they would be the oldest animals,” Riding points out. To find any fossil more than 200 million years older than previous animal fossils “is significant,” he says. Read More ›

Have we found the earliest evidence of animal life at 890 million years ago?

At The Scientist: "Now, in a study published today (July 28) in Nature, Elizabeth Turner, a geologist at Laurentian University in Canada, identified structures in 890-million-year-old fossils of organisms similar to modern bath sponges, potentially pushing back the emergence of the animals to at least that long ago." Read More ›

Convergent evolution: Our most distant relatives were sponges, not comb jellies, say researchers

Re the researcher’s comment, "It may seem very unlikely that such complex traits could evolve twice, independently, but evolution doesn't always follow a simple path,” well, he is virtually admitting that Darwinism stretches (snaps?) the bounds of probability but no one is allowed to discuss that honestly. That is most likely why there is a controversy in the first place. Read More ›

Are our claimed most distant ancestors sponges or comb jellies?

Researchers: "The alternative candidates for our most distant animal relatives are the comb jellies: beautiful, transparent, globe-shaped animals named after the shimmering comb-rows of cilia they beat to propel themselves through the water." Read More ›

Ernst Haeckel studied sponges to demonstrate “a universe devoid of supernatural beings or purpose”

Just to set the record straight, embryologist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) had, according to learned expert, a “philosophy of sponges.” And the title above captures part of it. Read More ›

Oldest evidence for animals found at 635 mya

Instead of looking for fossil at that age, the researchers looked for biomarkers: Rather than searching for conventional body fossils, the researchers have been tracking molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Era. In ancient rocks and oils from Oman, Siberia, and India, they found a steroid compound produced only by sponges, which are among the earliest forms of animal life. “Molecular fossils are important for tracking early animals since the first sponges were probably very small, did not contain a skeleton, and did not leave a well-preserved or easily recognizable body fossil record,” Zumberge said. “We have been looking for distinctive and stable biomarkers that indicate the existence of sponges Read More ›