Above: The "Loose Change" of the lion world.
And yes, that also means hyenas are more closely related to cats than to dogs. So be sure to pick up a litter box when you go get yourself that new guard hyena.
We've talked about sea squirts (tunicates) before. They're the poor, unfortunate souls that swim around like little tadpoles, happy as any spermlike creature can be expected to be, when all of a sudden their evolutionary programming takes over and they attach themselves to the sea floor, devour their own brains, lose their ability to swim and filter feed for the rest of their boring, miserable existence.
So which animals do you think are these doomed little guys' closest living relatives?
Sponges? Corals? Worms? Nope.
Closest Living Relatives: Vertebrates Like You
Go Team Spine!
That's right, say hello to your Cousin Squirt.
Vertebrates (you, other mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles and amphibians) are the closest evolutionary cousins of the sea squirt. In fact, scientists believe that the sea squirts (especially in their larval form) may resemble the original ancestor of all vertebrate life on earth. In other words, your earliest ancestors may have looked something like this:
Jim Williams, Southwest Tennessee Community College
If we're looking at that right, our ancestors were particularly well-hung.
So consider this: Instead of inventing new technology, creating fabulous works of art and writing dick jokes on the Internet, we could have parked our asses on the sea floor and devoured our own brains.
For more reasons we're better than Animal Planet, check out 8 Ingenious Ways Animals Outsmart Predators and 7 Animals That Are One Flaw Away From Taking Over the World.