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Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils

A wormlike creature that lived more than 555 million years ago is the earliest bilaterian

A team led by UC Riverside geologists has discovered the first ancestor on the family tree that contains most familiar animals today, including humans. 

The tiny, wormlike creature, named Ikaria wariootia, is the earliest bilaterian, or organism with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and openings at either end connected by a gut. The paper is published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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