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How difficult is the transition to multi-cellular life?
As I see it there were three events that led to eukaryotic life as we know it; the evolution of the cell nucleus, followed by the inclusion of endosymbiotic mitochondria, followed by the inclusion of endosymbiotic chloroplasts. There is some doubt about the order in which these events occurred, but here is Wikipedia's version.
[Image: 415px-Serial_endosymbiosis.svg.png]

It should be noted that this need not be the way that life has developed on other worlds; in fact I would go as far as saying that eukaryotes as such can only be found on Earth, and any instances of a similar arrangement which evolves elsewhere would need to be classified separately. Maybe the nucleus is not necessary as a way of separating out the nuclear DNA, or maybe there are several different nuclei, or maybe there are different endosymbiotes, or none.

Multicellular life has evolved several times on Earth, and maybe most forms of multicellular life in the universe are colonial organisms rather than Earth-like cellular organisms. We have at least one non-cellular species of macroscopic organism in OA (the Soft Ones) and these might be representative of a life-type that is at least moderately common.

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RE: How difficult is the transition to multi-cellular life? - by stevebowers - 06-20-2018, 05:46 PM

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