As Berkeley News reports, the newly sequenced genomes are shedding light on the evolution of pharyngeal slits (which acorn worms use to filter food from seawater) into gills and then into the pharynx, the organ that gives humans the ability to bite, chew, swallow and speak.
“The presence of these slits in acorn worms and vertebrates tells us that our last common ancestor also had them, and was likely a filter feeder like acorn worms today,” Daniel Rokhsar, a leader of the sequencing effort and a University of California Berkeley professor, told Berkeley News.
These worms aren't the only bizarre critters humans share a significant percentage of genes with.
While numbers vary depending on the source, here's a look at just how similar our DNA is to everything from chimpanzees to yeast.
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Chimps -- our closest relative -- share about 98 percent of our genes.
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Your friendly feline companion shares about 90 percent of human DNA.
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Man's best friend shares about 84 percent of iDNA with humans.
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Mooo-ve over acorn worm -- cows share about 80 percent of our DNA.