Metazoa

Animals can be further subdivided into two branches. The Choanozoa are unicellular aquatic protists that sometimes form colonies. The rest of the animals -- including fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals -- are all multicellular and are collectively referred to as the Metazoa. Several lines of evidence indicate that choanozoans gave rise to sponges, which are the most primitive metazoans. Unlike other Metazoa, sponges do not have muscles or nerves and therefore do not move except at the level of the individual cell. Metazoa are considered monophyletic, meaning that all organisms developed from a common ancestral form. As a group, they show an evolution from multicelled organisms acting more like colonies with quasi-independent cells, to more highly developed animals in which cells cooperate to form tightly coordinated tissues and organs.

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