In lab, we recently examined sponges in the phylum Porifera. I wanted to share with you an article reporting on how sponges might have been important in laying the groundwork for the evolution of all animals. As you read the articles, keep in mind the major characteristics and evolutionary innovations of animals in Porifera.
Did sponges play a critical role in the evolution of all animals?
In the March, 13th, 2013 New York Times, the wonderful science writer, Carl Zimmer, reported on research that suggests that around 700 million years ago sponges played a critical role in the transition between an oxygen poor and oxygen rich world, and without these first animals, life as we know it, might not exist. To learn more about it, check out the article.
Review and questions to keep in mind