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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 Tardigrada

Phylum Tardigrada

(p.265) 46 Phylum Tardigrada
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The Tardigrada, or water bears, is a small phylum comprised of about 1,000 described species of microscopic animals found in almost all types of permanently or periodically moist habitats, including the soil, the deep sea, hot springs, glaciers, and mosses. Three known species are the eutardigrade Thulinia, the heterotardigrade Echiniscoides, and the parthenogenetic eutardigrade Hypsibius. Morphological studies generally recognise two orders, Heterotardigrada and Eutardigrada. Despite their seemingly unquestioned monophyly, the tardigrades have been associated with different groups, such as panartropods and cycloneuralians.

Keywords:   water bears, Tardigrada, Thulinia, Echiniscoides, Heterotardigrada, Eutardigrada, monophyly, tardigrades, panartropods, cycloneuralians

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