When the universe was one billion years old (only 7 percent its current age), the first galaxies had already formed.
These galaxies are sometimes called "building blocks" rather rather than actual full-fledged galaxies because they lacked any real recognizable organized forms. In other words, none of them took on the characteristic pinwheel or oval shapes that we see in galaxies today.
It is thought that this was a wilder era in which the galaxies were so busy assembling themselves and rapidly forming stars that they were often literally bent out of shape as a result.
Recently, it was reported in the January 11th, 2018 issue of Nature magazine that astronomers have found examples of galaxies in this "wild west" time period that have curiously well-behaved shapes.
These newly-discovered objects take on a "pancake" morphology reminiscent of spiral galaxies. They also rotate peacefully about their centers like spiral galaxies today.
At the same time, these mini-galaxies do not share all the attributes of the large galaxy in which we live. To take two examples, they are only about one-fifth the size of the Milky Way and lack any discernible spiral arms.
A group of astronomers led by Dr. Smit at the University of Cambridge, UK, made the discovery of these well-ordered rotating galaxies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.