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Episode 801: Sponges: Oldest Creatures in the Sea?
They come in all different colors, shapes and sizes. Many of us have used them to bathe or clean with, and the most famous one is SpongeBob SquarePants, a cartoon character who entertains children from his pineapple in the sea. But have you ever given sponges much thought? Until recently there was scientific consensus that sponges were the first animals to branch off the “Animal Tree of Life,” a kind of family tree for all living and extinct animals on earth. But recent DNA research has cast doubt on that theory, with some scientists suggesting that ctenophores, also known as comb jellies, are an older lineage.


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