Creatures as diverse as the humpback whale and the ladybug all descend from the very first animal, which appeared hundreds of millions of years ago.CreditLeft, Michael Sale; right, Aarthi Narayanan
By Carl Zimmer
The animal kingdom is one of life’s great success stories — a collection of millions of species that swim, burrow, run and fly across the planet. All that diversity, from ladybugs to killer whales, evolved from a common ancestor that likely lived over 650 million years ago.
No one has found a fossil of the ur-animal, so we can’t say for sure what it looked like. But two scientists in Britain have done the next best thing. They’ve reconstructed its genome…