News From the Field
Forget sponges: The earliest animals were marine jellies
April 10, 2017
One of the longest-running controversies in evolutionary biology has been, "What was the oldest branch of the animal family tree?" Was it the sponges, as had long been thought, or was it the delicate marine predators called comb jellies? A powerful new method has been devised to settle contentious phylogenetic tree-of-life issues like this and it comes down squarely on the side of comb jellies.
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