We ring in the new year by talking about new research on the evolutionary history of early animals. Also, Amanda makes some very deep cartoon cuts, James manages an emergency, and Curt makes impossible resolutions.
Simple text summary:
The group talks about how early animals are close together, and which ones came first. While for a long time we thought that one type of animal came first, new studies thought that a different type of animal actually came first. A new study looks at these other studies and shows that actually the first answer is right. We then look at a study that looks at what was going on when these first animals were first appearing.
Pisani, Davide, et al. "Genomic data do not support comb jellies as the sister group to all other animals." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.50 (2015): 15402-15407.
Erwin, Douglas H. "Early metazoan life: divergence, environment and ecology." Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 370.1684 (2015): 20150036.