Comb jellies, the exotic sea creatures from recent study, may completely reform the idea that scientists hold regarding their evolution.
The beautiful, translucent comb jellies are often called "aliens of the sea". They have the unique ability to rapidly regenerate their lost body parts and some of them can even regrow their rudimentary brain.
The study was undertaken by University of Florida researchers, who state that the finding can have significant implications in regenerative and synthetic medicines.
While studying the genes of comb jellies, scientists have found that these less known creatures have the capability to develop their nervous system in more than a way and that these mysterious animal have a unique nervous system completely different from the entire animal kingdom.
"This paper proves, on a genomic basis, they're truly aliens," ABC News quoted Leonid Moroz, University of Florida neurobiologist, whose team invested seven years uncovering the genetic formation behind comb jellies' neural programming.
They create a nervous system using their own biological system, explained Moroz.
Scientists have proved that these animals have a single ancestry and are trying to determine how they gradually transformed to become more complex creature.
"It's almost like evolution has given us two different blueprints for building a structure that's very important. If your goal is to make a nervous system, it doesn't matter what the parts are in some ways. You could potentially mix and match. The more parts you have, the more solutions." said Antonis Rokas, a biologist from Vanderbilt University, who was not involved in the new work.
While creatures in the animal kingdom share a common composition, comb jellies have developed neurons, nerve cells that controls functions such as behavior and motion in human. They also don't carry most of the genes that other animals utilize for neural function and development, explained Moroz.