A new study suggests Funisia dorothea, tubular invertebrates which lived about 565 million years ago, may have been the first organisms to undergo sexual reproduction.
These living invertebrates use a reproductive technique that releases floating eggs and sperm to produce mass births of many offspring, called larval spatfalls.
In a paper that appeared in last week’s Science journal …
the researchers argue that the way the F. dorothea fossils were found suggests they might have used the same body positions to ensure sexual success.
“We can’t say ‘definitely’ about something that happened 565 million years ago,” said Mary Droser, study co-author and professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Riverside.
“But it’s very likely that this was sexual reproduction.”
World’s oldest profession indeed.