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Animal EvolutionInterrelationships of the Living Phyla$
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Claus Nielsen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606023.001.0001

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Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

Acoelomorpha is a clade comprised of three phyla that have been interpreted as closely related ‘primitive turbellarians’: acoels, nemertodermatids, and Xenoturbella. Molecular phylogenetics shows that Acoela and Nemertodermatida are not part of the Platyhelminthes and instead places them either as sister groups in the Acoelomorpha or separately as subsequent early off-shoots of the line to the Eubilateria. A recent study suggests that the acoelomorphs are the sister group of the ambulacrarians. The three phyla may also be considered as the sister group of the Eubilateria, although it is possible that they represent subsequent side branches on the line leading to the this clade.

Keywords:   acoels, Acoelomorpha, nemertodermatids, Xenoturbella, Acoela, Nemertodermatida, Eubilateria, ambulacrarians, phyla

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