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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 Platyhelminthes

Phylum Platyhelminthes

(p.166) 29 Phylum Platyhelminthes
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

Platyhelminthes, or flatworms, is a phylum consisting of about 25,000 described species of ‘turbellarians’, flukes, and tapeworms. The economically important parasitic flukes (Digenea and Monogenea) and tapeworms (Cestoda) are regarded as classes parallel to ‘Turbellaria’, but only for practical reasons. The Platyhelminthes previously included the Acoela and Nemertodermatida, but morphology, embryology, and molecular phylogeny suggest that they belong to a separate clade, Acoelomorpha, which is basal to the Eubilateria. The Platyhelminthes is currently comprised of two groups, Catenulida and Rhabditophora. The catenulids are characterised by their single, biciliate protonephridia. The Rhabditophora includes the Macrostomorpha and Trepaxonemata. Hermaphroditism is common among the platyhelminths, which are considered a monophyletic group of spiralians.

Keywords:   spiralians, Platyhelminthes, flatworms, turbellarians, flukes, tapeworms, Acoelomorpha, Catenulida, Rhabditophora, catenulids

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