use bands of iridescent, rainbow-colored comb rows along their body to swim.
"To make a long story short, we were able to reconstruct the whole [early] lineage of comb jellies
," by doing anatomical comparisons, Vinther added.
Ctenophores, or comb jellies
, are among the most beautiful of the marine zooplankton, with iridescent waves of color coursing along their ciliary rows.
Fossils about 520 million years old from six species of comb jellies
show signs of hard parts, such as rigid spokes and hard plates, says Qiang Ou of China University of Geosciences in Beijing.
''This paper proves, on a genomic basis, they're truly aliens,'' said University of Florida neurobiologist Leonid Moroz, whose team spent seven years unraveling the genetics behind comb jellies
' neural programming.
possess muscle cells, but the analysis of the Mnemiopsis genome showed that comb jellies
lack the vast majority of genes that specify muscle types in most other animals.
By 1989, researchers estimated that the weight of all these comb jellies
in the Black Sea was 1 billion tons; that's about equal to the weight of all the fish caught in all the oceans that year.
(Ctenophora): a model for basal metazoan evolution and development.
Complex marine creatures called comb jellies
should replace brainless, gutless, simple sponges at the base of the evolutionary tree of animal life, a new report asserts.
The most ancient animal groups (phyla) include the Porifera (sponges), Placozoa, Cnidaria, and Ctenophora (comb jellies
-See a hidden gem in our state park system; it's a great beach to go with young children to search for snails, comb jellies
and other marine life.
A genomic analysis of comb jellies
confirmed that the squishy marine predators are the new oldest animals, bumping the much simpler sea sponges from the base of the animal evolutionary tree (SN: 5/18/13, p.