Origin and evolution of metazoa, Biology

Origin and Evolution of Metazoa

Most of the early metazoans were soft bodied and so their fossils are rare. The extremely fragmented fossil record does not shed any specific light on their origin. Therefore, 'most of the explanations on their origin are based on their embryology and -comparative morphology. A series of theories have been put forward to explain the origin of multicellular metazoans from unicellular organisms. Of these, three principal theories could be considered.

1) Syncytial Theory: That the ancestral metazoans have arisen from a multinucleate. ciliate by compartmentalization or cellularization.

2) Colonial Theory: That the ancestral metazoans have arisen from colonial flagellates by cellular specialisation and interdependency.

3) Polyphyletic Theory: That the metazoans have arisen from more than one group of organisms.

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