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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 Arthropoda

Phylum Arthropoda

(p.242) 44 Phylum Arthropoda
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The Arthropoda is one of the largest phyla in the animal kingdom, with the insects alone purportedly consisting of several million living species. The other arthropods are estimated to be more than 100,000. The fossil record both of living and extinct groups dates back to the Early Cambrian and provides important insights about the evolution of the phylum. There are two or three subphyla comprised of a number of subgroups: Pycnogonida, Chelicerata (Xiphosura + Arachnida), and Mandibulata (Crustacea + Tracheata (= Hexapoda + Myriapoda)). However, more recent evidence from morphological and molecular studies point to Hexapoda as an ingroup of the Crustacea. The name Pancrustacea may be applied for the clade, while ‘crustaceans’ may be used for the non-hexapod groups. The Myriapoda appears to be the sister group of the Pancrustacea. The Pycnogonida has been interpreted as the sister group of the Euchelicerata (Xiphosura + Arachnida), while the Pentastomida has been placed within the Arthropoda as the sister group of the Branchiura.

Keywords:   arthropods, Arthropoda, evolution, Pycnogonida, Chelicerata, Mandibulata, Hexapoda, Crustacea, Pancrustacea, crustaceans

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