Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Origins of Sex in Outback South Australia

Apparently it all began in the Flinders Ranges about 570 million years ago.

Scientists believe they have discovered the earliest evidence of animal sex, between 30cm- long knobby tubular animals which lived on the then sea floor in the Ediacaran Hills within the Flinders Ranges.

Beating the previous record by 30 million years, the earliest known animals to have sex are now Funisia Dorothea, their exploits revealed this week in the international magazine Science.

Funisia Dorothea covered the seafloor of the region during the Neoproterozoic era, a 100-million-year period ending around 540 million years ago.

So sex evolved from nobby tubular animals on the sea bed to involving nobby tubular appendages on the bed. And that took over 500 million years. I wonder where it will go next?


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