The Shape Of Life – Origins (PBS HD Documentary)
For the first time ever, scientists believe they have gathered substantial evidence that points to a single animal group of creatures that gave rise to all animals, including humans. Researchers such as Cristina Diaz and Mitch Sogin think that the most likely candidate for this „Animal Eve“ is a group of creatures that still exist: the sponges. Sponges, members of the phylum Porifera, are considered the oldest living animal phylum. The name Porifera means „pore bearer“ in Latin. Sponges are the only animals that if broken down to the level of their cells can miraculously reassemble themselves. These seemingly inanimate creatures are also fantastic pumps, filtering tons of water to harvest a few ounces of food. How do we know sponges were our ancestors? It turns out that all organisms in their genes carry clues to their evolutionary history a unique set of acquired genetic changes passed on through countless generations. This fact allowed Mitch Sogin to compare and contrast specific sets of genetic differences between sponges, flies, fish, frogs, humans and other organisms. He discovered that sponges, indeed, were the start of the animal kingdom and laid the foundation for all animals to follow. A revolutionary eight-part television series that reveals the dramatic rise of the animal kingdom through the breakthroughs of scientific discovery. The Shape of Life tells the gripping and magnificent tale of the beginnings of all animal life. Using innovative camera techniques to capture rarely seen creatures and breathtaking computer animation to reveal stunning detail, this digital high-definition series tells the stories of the revolutionary findings and scientific breakthroughs in biology, genetics and paleontology that are rewriting the book of life. The series celebrates the splendors and struggles of evolution, unveiling eight biological designs that are the underpinnings of nearly all animal life.
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