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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 Onychophora

Phylum Onychophora

(p.259) 45 Phylum Onychophora
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The phylum Onychophora consists of about 200 species of terrestrial animals that are mainly found in humid tropical and southern temperate regions, and comprises two families: Peripatidae and Peripatopsidae. The marine stem group of the living onychophorans appears to be represented by Lower and Middle Cambrian lobopodians, such as Ostenotubulus. Two species, Peripatopsis capensis and Peripatopsis balfouri, have well-characterised development. Several apomorphies indicate that the onychophorans are monophyletic. Almost all newer molecular phylogenies support the phylogenetic position of the Onychophora as the sister group of the Arthropoda.

Keywords:   onychophorans, Onychophora, Peripatidae, Peripatopsidae, lobopodians, Ostenotubulus, Peripatopsis capensis, Peripatopsis balfouri, Arthropoda

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