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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 Brachiopoda

Phylum Brachiopoda

(p.230) 41 Phylum Brachiopoda
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The phylum Brachiopoda, or lamp-shells, consists of roughly 400 living and more than 12,000 fossil species of benthic, marine organisms. Both living and extinct brachiopods can be easily distinguished by their two valves, usually called dorsal and ventral. Molecular studies almost unanimously show Brachiopoda as a monophyletic group. The living forms were previously arranged in two main groups, Inarticulata and Articulata, but more recent evidence suggests that lingulaceans and discinaceans form a monophyletic group, Linguliformea. The interrelationships of the three living groups, Linguliformea, Craniiformea, and Rhynchonelliformea, along with the extinct lineages, are still poorly defined. Molecular phylogeny implies that phoronids are an ingroup of the brachiopods and the sister group of the Craniiformea plus Linguliformea. Although most species are free spawners, rhynchonelliforms generally retain the embryos in the lophophore for a period. Phoronids and brachiopods may be regarded as sister groups.

Keywords:   brachiopods, Brachiopoda, Inarticulata, Articulata, lingulaceans, discinaceans, Linguliformea, Craniiformea, phoronids, rhynchonelliforms

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