World’s simplest animals get their place in the tree of life

The group with the world’s simplest animals — tiny blob-like life forms with no organs and just a few cell types — finally has a fleshed-out family tree. The study comes more than 100 years after the discovery of these ameboid animals called placozoans and represents the first — and potentially only — time in the 21st century that a backbone Linnaean taxonomy is constructed for an entire animal phylum.The group with the world’s simplest animals — tiny blob-like life forms with no organs and just a few cell types — finally has a fleshed-out family tree. The study comes more than 100 years after the discovery of these ameboid animals called placozoans and represents the first — and potentially only — time in the 21st century that a backbone Linnaean taxonomy is constructed for an entire animal phylum.

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