Scientists Say Sea Sponges Are The Earliest Human Ancestors

There has always been a row over our evolution and there are several theories around the same. And now a new research has come up with another proof which is quite different from what we learned in our childhood. The new study has revealed that simple sea sponges living 750 million years ago are the common ancestors of humans and other animals and not the anatomically complex comb jellies. There has been debate whether sponges or comb jellies were first to start of the evolutionary tree. Researchers have claimed that “sister group” of animals is not the simple sponges as they lack basic features like muscles and nervous systems but complex group of creatures, comb jellies are.

But now researchers from the University of Bristol have found that sponges are the most ancient lineage of all kinds of animals of our planet. “Now we are very different from sponges, but at some point, back in the past we did share a common ancestor,” said Professor Davide Pisani, co-author of the new research paper and researcher at the University of Bristol.

“The fact is hypotheses about whether sponges or comb jellies came first suggest entirely different evolutionary histories for key animal organ systems like the nervous and the digestive systems. Therefore, knowing the correct branching order at the root of the animal tree is fundamental to understanding our own evolution, and the origin of key features of the animal anatomy,” said Davide Pisani. For the study, the researchers analyzed all key genomic datasets released between 2015 and 2017. This is not all, they also used modern statistical techniques like Posterior Predictive Analyses.

“Evidence for comb jellies as the earliest branching animal lineage first emerged in 2008, a decade ago, in the first, large-scale, phylogenomic analysis of the animal phyla,” Pisani added. Will this research end the debate on our ancestry or will it continue? What are your views let us know in the comments below?

Date: 5 Nov 2017