Wednesday, May 23, 2012

EVOLUTION #3 - GALILEI, AND YET IT MOVES

Galileo Galilei now seen as a revolutionary figure from the scientific point of view, it was in its time, a blasphemous that dare to say the most ridiculous thing, that earth was not in the center, but the sun instead. Nowadays, the Red Queen paradigm is the same as that centuries ago, where clamming diversity as the reason of Sexual Selection, is the same as it was, that earth doesn't move, and yet it moves!

In a not so much recent study, Synchronous Aggregate Growth in an Abundant New Ediacaran Tubular Organism, Mary L. Droser and James G. Gehling, argues to have identified the Tubes of Funisia dorothea as the first evidence of sexual reproduction. As it's put it next:
"A recent discovery made international headlines when published in Science in March 2008, announcing the discovery of the origin of sex. The paper, by Mary Droser and Jim Gehling, described a new kind of organism from the Ediacara site, which they named Funisia. Funisia was a worm-like tubular organism, the fossils of which are found abundantly at the Ediacara sites, so much so that different stages of its growth can be studied and measured in detail.

Droser and Gehling identified that these organisms were budding off ‘sprats’, or juveniles from the adults, which were all at a similar growth stage. Hence instead of shedding or budding asexually (shedding identical clones of itself), as expected for primitive organisms of this period, it is likely that the ‘sprats’ developed all at the same time due to an act that began them all: sex.

Put simply, if they were budding asexually then a wider range of sizes would be expected in the juveniles. The fact that they were always at the same size suggested an act that was timed, a mutual shedding of sperm and eggs into the water, such as occurs for corals.
" - From Cosmos

 In the Abstract of the previously referred article, it's written:
"The most abundant taxon of the Neoproterozoic soft-bodied biota near Ediacara, South Australia, occurs as clusters of similarly sized individuals, which suggests synchronous aggregate growth by spatfall. Tubes of Funisia dorothea gen. et sp. nov. were anchored within the shallow, sandy sea bed and lived in dense, typically monospecific concentrations. Tubes were composed of modular, serially repeating elements. Individuals grew by adding serial elements to the tubular body and by branching of tubes. Their construction and close-packed association imply likely affinity within the Porifera or Cnidaria. These data suggest that several of the most successful marine invertebrate ecological strategies known today were in place in Earth's oldest known metazoan ecosystems before the advent of skeletonization and widespread predation." - From Synchronous Aggregate Growth in an Abundant New Ediacaran Tubular Organism

Well, it's obvious that all this synchronous is argued as the timing, and not as the form, of Sexual Reproduction. As it's said, you simple have groups of organisms that started their growth at the same time (same size individuals). However, all the Similarity, the Clustering, and the Synchronous nature of Sexual Reproduction should ring a simple idea, that this Clustering is the true Origin of Species. And yet it clusters!


BBC - David Attenborough's First Life - See 46:16.

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