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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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Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The Scalidophora is a monophyletic group comprising three phyla: Priapula, Kinorhyncha, and Loricifera. The priapulans, kinorhynchs, and loriciferans share a number of features that can best be interpreted as apomorphies, including flosculi, rings of scalids on introvert, and two rings of introvert retractors attached through the collar-shaped brain. The name Cephalorhyncha was originally proposed for a group consisting of priapulans, kinorhynchs, and nematomorphs, with the loriciferans added later. The collagenous nature of the nematomorph cuticle points to a closer relationship with the Nematoda, while a study of mitochondrial gene order of Priapulus suggests an affinity with chelicerates (Xiphosura and Acari).

Keywords:   priapulans, kinorhynchs, loriciferans, Scalidophora, Priapula, Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Nematoda, Priapulus, chelicerates

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