A breath of life into the dust or a more mucosal event, perhaps Atum in his primordial sea or the operculum of Aphrodite?
The earliest emergence of animal form is being reordered by recent genome sequencing.
Previous classification of sponges as the primogenitor of animal life is now challenged by the ctenophores or comb jellies. The ancestral march of earlier eucaryote forms, stabilizing as Flagellates, Slime Molds and Ciliates becomes Animal with the acquisition of characteristic structural symmetries, muscle cells, nerve nets and sensory organs.
Comb jellies (though not true jellyfish) appear little more than a blob of slime when subjected to terrestrial conditions. In the buoyancy of water their apparent formlessness unfurls into an invaginated opalescence of light diffracting cilia and bioluminescence. They are predatory, some using their flagella as hunting nets or secreting secreting adhesives to capture prey. Just as nudibranchs some are able to incorporate stinging cells consumed from prey into their tentacles.
The Sponges, though physically more primitive than comb jellies, are now shown to possess genes for traits they lack, including neurons. Regression of form is attributed to sponges sedentary evolution. Couch potatoes beware.
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