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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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(p.180) 31 GNATHIFERA
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The Gnathifera is a clade that originally comprised Gnathostomulida, Rotifera (known as Syndermata), and new group ‘A’ (Micrognathozoa) based on pronounced similarities of the jaw apparatus called mastax. Molecular analyses suggest that Rotifera and Micrognathozoa are sister groups, and Rotifera and Gnathostomulida as sister groups, but tend to mix them with the Gastrotricha when all three groups are included. All morphological and molecular analyses place the Gnathifera in the Spiralia, but provide little support for a more specific position. Evidence also indicates close relationships with the Gastroticha or the Platyhelminthes. Gnathifera, Gastrotricha, Platyhelminthes, and Cycliophora have been assigned to a group called Platyzoa.

Keywords:   Gnathifera, Rotifera, Micrognathozoa, Gnathostomulida, Gastrotricha, Spiralia, Platyhelminthes, Cycliophora, Platyzoa

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