comb jelly

Science
4:43 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Local Comb Jelly Is Our Closest Ancient Relative

Credit NOAA Photo Gallery / Wikimedia Commons

Scientists long thought that sponges were our most distant animal relative. But a recent study presents evidence that the comb jelly is our closest ancient relative.

If you’ve sailed Narragansett waters, then there’s a good chance you’ve gotten a glimpse of these shapeless blobs. They reflect rainbow-like iridescent colors in the water.

This gelatinous animal is covered in cilia, the little hair-like structures that also coat our lungs and intestines; the comb jelly uses it to swim and propel itself through the water.

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