|Funisia specimens, as illustrated in the original article.|
Droser & Gehling, 2008
Droser & Gehling, 2008
Funisia is a genus containing the single species F. dorothea, a fossil upright worm-like animal from the Ediacaran biota discovered in Australia. 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, or it may have been a basal metazoan. 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.
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- Supporting online material