Temporal range: Ediacaran
|Funisia specimens, as illustrated in the original article.|
Funisia is a genus containing the single species F. dorothea, a fossil upright worm-like animal from the Ediacaran biota. Funisia stood about 0.3 metres tall. Because individuals grew in dense collections of animals the same age, it is believed to have reproduced sexually. Although the evolution of sex took place before the origin of animals, and evidence of sexual reproduction is observed in red algae , Funisia is one of the oldest known animals for which there is evidence of sexual reproduction. Its relationship to other animals is unknown, but it may belong within the Porifera (sponges) or Cnidaria. The genus and species were described in a 2008 paper.
The generic name Funisia is after the Latin "Rope", and is pronounced to rhyme with Tunisia. The name dorothea is in honor of Dorothy Droser, the mother of Dr. Mary Droser, one of the scientists who studied the organism.
- Mary L. Droser and James G. Gehling (21 March 2008). "Synchronous Aggregate Growth in an Abundant New Ediacaran Tubular Organism". Science. 319 (5870): 1660–1662. doi:10.1126/science.1152595. PMID 18356525.
- Smith, Lewis (March 21, 2008). "Fossil sheds light on the history of sex". The Times. London. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "Early life on Earth - no predators, plenty of sex". Reuters. 21 March 2008.
- "Research shows Earth's earliest animal ecosystem was complex and included sexual reproduction". March 20, 2008. Source: University of California - Riverside via physorg.com
- Butterfield, N. J. (2000-09-01). "Bangiomorpha pubescens n. gen., n. sp.: implications for the evolution of sex, multicellularity, and the Mesoproterozoic/Neoproterozoic radiation of eukaryotes". Paleobiology. 26 (3): 386–404. doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2000)026<0386:BPNGNS>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0094-8373. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
- Supporting online material
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