Acorn Worms

In the past few weeks our class has been talking about genetics. Particularly things like common genetic ancestors. Well, I found an unexpected ancestor that we share 70% of our genes with and it might surprise you. This animal is known as the acorn worm and yes, it looks like an acorn.
The link between humans and acorn worms goes back about 500 million years ago! We share thousands of genes with the deep sea worms and one of the similarities we have is our acorn shaped heads. The similarity in the shape of our heads have led scientists to believe we are distant cousins. I know that we generally don't look like acorn worms but they do share about 14000 genes with us and they could possibly be responsible for the development of our pharynx. (the tube connecting the esophagus with the nose and mouth.)
Acorn worms don't only share common ancestors with us though. Infact, they are our most ancient deuterostomes relatives and they have 8716 gene families that are shared all across deuterostomes.

Acorn Worm Video:


Our acorn shaped heads.


An acorn worm.

Picture of the Pharynx


Picture of an actual acorn