Our Single-Celled Ancestors

Posted on December 19, 2005  Comments (0)

choanoflagellates in water (photo by Melissa Mott)

Our Single-Celled Ancestors by David Pescovitz, [email protected] Photo: propelled by their flagella, choanoflagellates move through water collecting bacteria on a collar of tentacles at the base of the cell body. (photo by Melissa Mott)

Six-hundred million years ago, a pivotal turning point in the history of life occurred. In the ancient sea, multicellular organisms evolved that are now recognized as the world’s first animals. But what was the biology of the single-celled organism that made the transition? And how did it become the common progenitor of all animals?

As always this issue of [email protected] includes excellent articles. Other articles from this issue: Extreme Biomaterials and Machines That Learn.

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