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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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Phylum Nemertodermatid

Phylum Nemertodermatid

(p.69) 19 Phylum Nemertodermatid
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The phylum Nemertodermatida is comprised of about ten species of millimetre-sized ‘turbellariform’ worms that are mostly interstitial. One species, Meara, lives as a commensal in the pharynx of holothurians. The embryology of the nemertodermatids is not well established. Their first three cleavages are duet cleavages consisting of micro- and macromeres, but the sixteen-cell stage has a ring of micromeres and a ring of macromeres. Three Hox genes, two central and one posterior, are present in the Nemertodermatida. The phylum has been interpreted as a monophyletic group, closely related to Acoela and Xenoturbella, and also possesses several characters of the cilia.

Keywords:   cilia, Nemertodermatida, worms, Meara, embryology, nemertodermatids, cleavages, Hox genes, Acoela, Xenoturbella

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