Comb jellies take root in a new tree of animal life

By Amy Maxmen, 15:59 PM April 15, 2008

Amorphous, gutless, and brainless, simple sponges were the first multicellular animals. That's what scientists have said for a century. Now a team of biologists suggests demoting sponges and placing comb jellies at the base of a new tree of animal life.

These gelatinous marine predators, including Aulacoctena acuminata pictured here, have more cell types and organs than the sedentary and filter-feeding sponges. Casey Dunn doesn't think the new placement is preposterous, though other biologist...

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