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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 Rotifera

Phylum Rotifera

(p.185) 34 Phylum Rotifera
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The phylum Rotifera consists of approximately 2,000 described species of free-living, aquatic, mostly limnic organisms and about 900 aquatic or terrestrial, completely gutless, parasites. Many of the free-living types can be distinguished by the ciliary ‘wheel organ’ or corona from which the phylum derived its name, but it is either highly modified or completely absent in others. The Rotifera comprises four main groups: Monogononta, Bdelloidea, Seisonidea, and Acanthocephala. The acanthocephalans were originally considered a separate phylum, but are now regarded as a sister group (or an in-group) of one of the free-living groups on the basis of the ultrastructure of the epidermis. In addition, the general structure of the mastax jaws, along with the ultrastructure of the jaws having parallel cuticular tubules with a dense core, suggests that the rotifers are closely related to the micrognathozoans and gnathostomulids. Studies on monogonont development have focused on the pelagic genus Asplanchna.

Keywords:   rotifers, Rotifera, parasites, Monogononta, Bdelloidea, Seisonidea, Acanthocephala, acanthocephalans, micrognathozoans, gnathostomulids

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