It’s one thing when we imagine our ancestors to be Australopithecus or a small possum-like mammal nosing round between the legs of some enormous dinosaur. But what about when our ancestor is a weird little worm?
This extinct creature is the oldest known “bilaterian,” meaning its body exhibited bilateral symmetry on its left and right sides, in addition to front and rear openings (a mouth and an anus) connected by a through-gut. These features distinguish Ikaria wariootia as the first clear common ancestor of most animals alive today.
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