One of the biggest evolutionary hurdles for life on Earth was the jump from single-celled to multi-cellular organisms…or at least, that’s what we thought. Scientists set out to replicate this evolutionary leap in laboratory conditions. It took them two months.
There almost certainly wasn’t one single leap to multicellularity, and scientists suspect there were about twenty distinct instances in which single-celled organisms evolved into multicellular creatures. But since the most recent documented case of this happened 200 million years ago, it’s difficult for us to say a lot about its specific mechanisms. But now, thanks to researchers at the University of Minnesota, there’s now been a 21st multicellular evolution.