NPR

The Microbial Eve: Our Oldest Ancestors Were Single-Celled Organisms

Consider this: Evidence points to a microbial Eve as our first ancestor — a tough, underwater organism withstanding extremes that became every other creature to ever live, says Marcelo Gleiser.
What scientists believe to be our oldest ancestor, the single-celled organism named LUCA, likely lived in extreme conditions where magma met water — in a setting situation similar to this one from Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Source: Danita Delimont

If Victorians were offended by Charles Darwin's claim that we descended from monkeys, imagine their surprise if they knew that our first ancestor was much more primitive than that, a mere single-celled creature, our microbial Eve.

We now know that all extant living creatures derive from a single common ancestor, called LUCA, the . It's hard to think of a more unifying view of life. All living creatures are linked to a single-celled creature, the root to

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