Tuesday, 1 August 2017

epigenesis or hms ctenophore

Æon magazine may be sending us the inaugural dispatches from a new frontier in our understanding of life on Earth and beyond having seemingly discovered that “shadow biosphere” that they’ve pondered about before with an in depth look at the unique and alien ctenophore.
Ranging back to the realisation of a marine biologist of Russian extraction at a harbour in Maine in 1995 to the acceptance by the scientific community about how profoundly different that these creatures—once dismissed as weird jellyfish—are. The creatures glide along with the currents, powered by multiple ridges of cilia (the only non-microscopic animal to do so) like a galley propelled by oarsmen and are voracious and efficient hunters with a unique method of capturing prey with comb-like tentacles and though they are part of the part of the same great chain of being and have the same basic DNA structure as other animals, their cobweb-like brains rely on chemical transmitters shared with no others. The fact that evolution on Earth could accommodate such departures and convergence could help inform and guide the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence and not overlook Nature’s resourcefulness.