Evolutionary discovery to rewrite textbooks

13 Jun 2019
Scanning electron microscopy image of an Amphimedon queenslandica intact chonanocyte chamber in which many individual choanocytes are visible.  Photo credit:  Rebecca Fieth.

Scientists at The University of Queensland have upended biologists’ century-old understanding of the evolutionary history of animals.

Using new technology to investigate how multi-celled animals developed, their findings, published in Nature, revealed a surprising truth.

Professor Bernie Degnan said the results contradicted years of tradition.

“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.

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