New genomic research by Matthias Obst of the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg, due to be published in Nature on 10 April, shows that the oldest extant phylum among Earth’s animals is the ctenophores (Sw. kammaneter), not, as previously assumed, the sponges.

Via Dagens Nyheter.

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  1. #1 PhysioProf
    April 8, 2008

    That totally kicks fucking ass!! Ctenophora has always been my favorite fucking phylum!!

  2. #2 Cameron
    April 9, 2008

    From the paper:

    “This result, which has not been postulated before, should be viewed as provisional until more data are considered from placozoans and additional sponges.”

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    April 9, 2008

    Ah, the sponges are still trying to mop up, then.

  4. #4 David Marjanović
    April 10, 2008

    Comb jellies in English.

  5. #5 windy
    April 10, 2008

    Matthias Obst … at the University of Gothenburg

    Actually, at Kristineberg Marine Research Station, part of the university since January and now known as “Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences – Kristineberg”. To celebrate the new glorious union the actual geographic location is being somewhat downplayed. Don’t you just love university politics! 😉

  6. #6 windy
    April 10, 2008

    and as for the results, I’m beginning to wonder if Xenoturbella will one day be revealed as a running joke of taxonomists? “Let’s see what we can pair it with this time!”

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