The Phylum Platyhelminthes Etymology:- From the Greek platy for flat and helminthes for worms, Hence

Flat Worms. Characteristics of Platyhelminthes:1)Bilaterally symmetrical. 2)Body having 3 layers of tissues with organs and organelles. 3)Body contains no internal cavity. 4)Possesses a blind gut (i.e. it has a mouth but no anus) 5)Has Protonephridial excretory organs instead of an anus. 6)Has normally a nervous system of longitudinal fibres rather than a net. 7)Generally dorsoventrally flattened. 8)Reproduction mostly sexual as hermaphrodites. 9)Mostly they feed on animals and other smaller life forms. 10)Some species occur in all major habitats, including many as parasites of other animals.

Platyhelminthes = Flatworms Platyhelminthes are an ancient phylum, but practically nothing is known of their evolutionary history because they have very soft bodies which do not preserve well as fossils. Scientists believe that the first turbellarians evolved around 550 MYA (million years ago). Platyhelminthes are mostly worm like creatures that are dorsoventrally flattened, meaning they look like a ribbon, this is why they are called names such as Tapeworm, Flatworm, Fluke and Planarian. The Platyhelminthes are a successful phylum with around 25,000 known species divided into four classes. Most Platyhelminthes are parasites on other animals, only the Turbellarians are mostly non-parasitic. A few species are commensalists living in harmony, or mutual benefit with another, normally larger organism. Most species feed on animal material either as parasites or as scavengers, a very few species feed on algae. Although a few of the free living marine and terrestrial species are very beautiful, most species are not particularly attractive to the human mind. Platyhelminthes live nearly everywhere, on land, in both fresh and marine waters as well as inside other animals. Most of the free living species are marine with only a small number inhabiting fresh water and very few being terrestrial. Parasitic species normally move between different habitats as they change life cycle stages and hosts. A number of parasitic species are of importance to mankind because they infect either our bodies or the bodies of our livestock. A few species can be fatal to humans if not treated, but nearly all species can be treated with modern medicines. Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) is the most important platyhelminth disease of humans, causing much suffering and some death, over 200 million people are infected with the causative agent in tropical countries. While they remain fairly morphologically simple the Platyhelminthes show several advance in body structure over the simple radial phyla that came before them. They have a definite congregation of of sensory organs(a few have light sensing organs) and nervous tissues at one end of their body giving them a distinct head and tail. They also have distinct upper and lower (dorsal and ventral) body surfaces. They have a number of organs and even the beginnings of organ systems and a more distinct 3rd layer of cells in their body plan. The evolution of this connective tissue, called parenchyma, the cells of which serve as storage reservoirs as well as protecting the internal organs, is a major step forward toward the more complex body plans of higher animals, such as humans. However they still no anus, instead they have only a blind ending gut, or no gut at all. Those species with a gut must therefore excrete there digestive waste products through their mouths. Classification The higher classification of the Platyhelminthes, is as with so many other groups, in a state of confusion, and there is little consensus of opinion among the experts. The scheme I have used here will suffice to break the phylum into smaller, more manageable groups and will be satisfactory for teaching at secondary levels providing some mention is made of the inherent disharmony in expert opinion. However if you are considering research work, or writing as an undergraduate you should seek out and read the latest scientific papers. There is a general consensus concerning the classes Turbellaria and Cestoda, however the Monogenea, Digenea

and the Aspidobothrians are somewhat confusing, you will find them all included in the Class Trematoda, and all given class status in their own right, and in schemes, like that which I have used here, that are a mixture of these two extremes.

The Turbellarians The Turbellaria are free living or commensal with larger animals, (it is possible a few species now thought to be commensals may actually be parasitic). There are about 3,000 known species of Turbellaria, most of which are marine. They are the most primitive of the Platyhelminthes, and as far as we know the other three classes of Platyhelminthes all evolved from the Turbellarians. Most species are marine and very small, some being less than 1 mm long, some even smaller than the larger protozoa. Most species are less than 5 mm long, though both the Tricladida and the Polycladida are often larger than this. The terrestrial forms include the largest species and the Greenhouse Planarian (Bipalium kewense) can reach a length of 60cm (2 feet). The Turbellarians contain all the visually attractive Platyhelminths, including the Gren house Planarian mentioned above which has 7 grey or green stripes along its otherwise yellow body. Among the more attractive species are a number of species of Prosthoceraeus such as P. vittatus from the English Channel, P. roseus from the Mediterranean. Other attractive species include Thysarozoon brocchii and the smaller, at 1.3 cm (0.5 in) Oligocladus sanguinolentus. Still very attractive but small enough that you really need to look at it down a low power microscope is the 2 mm Monocelis lineata There are 12 orders within the class Turbellaria and between them they show considerable variability however they all have certain features in common. These include a simple brain with a nerve net extending from it out to the body, have no blood system, no organs of gaseous exchange and can reproduce asexually as well as sexually. Sexually they hermaphrodites, meaning each animal is both male and female and that during copulation they exchange sperm. Here I will take a brief look at the more well know orders. The Acoela The Acoela are the simplest of the Turbellarians in that they lack intestines and oviducts. Thus they shed their eggs either through their skin, or out of their mouth. As adults they live in a sort of symbiosis with flagellated algae of the genus Chlamydomonas. The algae are eaten but not digested, so that they live in the body of the worm. The algae have a safe home and the Acoelan absorbs nutrients produced by them and thus they lose the need to eat at all and can survive without a digestive system. Before they reproduce the adults do digest their algal partners, and then after reproducing they die. Naturally enough the presence of the algae tends to make them appear green, and as they are dependant on sunlight for their energy and nutrients they can only live in shallow waters. A common European species isConvoluta convoluta. The Macrostomida The Macrostomids are noteworthy for a few reasons. Firstly they occur in both fresh and marine waters, in fact one species, Macrostomum appendiculatum can live in either habitat, which is very unusual.Another interesting species is Macrostomum lineare which will feed on the polyps of freshwater Cnidarians. When it does so it absorbs the Cnidarians nematocysts (stinging organs) and secretes them in its own skin so that they can protect it. M. linare is also one of the species in this group that can reproduce asexually by budding off new individuals from its tail end, sometimes several buds can form one after the other and you get chains of developing animals still attached to the the adult. The Polycladida The Polyclads are often attractive and colourful worms mostly limited to benthic (sea floor) marine environments, though a few planktonic (near the sea surface) species are less brightly coloured. Polyclads are distinguished by their having an extremely branched gut, a complicated set of sexual organs and an eversible pharynx(can be extended out from the body, though normally held within the body). Many species go through a free living larval stage. Some Polyclads, such as Stylochus zebra lives with Hermit Crabs inside their adopted snail shell are therefore commensals. Two other species that are well known to mankind are Stylochus pilidium from the Mediterranean and Stylochus frontalis from Florida USA. both these species are sometimes found as pests in commercial oyster beds.

though you will find different species. Some species will survive being cut into 3 parts. You can find pictures in text books if you really want to see the evidence with your own eyes. with each part growing into a new organism. Like the Polyclads. meaning the always have more than one host species and th animal lives in separate hosts during different stages of its life. In order to facilitate their parasitic life style the Monogeneans have complicated attachment organs at the posterior or tail end of their bodies. often including a mixture of suckers. The European species Scutariella didactyla is a parasite on shrimps of the genus Trogocaris. hence the 'Tri' rather than 'Poly' in their name. It lives in their gills and sucks the shrimps body fluids out from the gill filaments. If Dugesia species are present they will soon be attracted to it and may remain attached to it by their pharynx if you pull the meat in slowly and then dunk it into a jar of clear water. or mutilated and there is no real reason to let curiosity cause you to degrade your humanity by deliberately causing suffering to another living thing just so that you can see the results. They can be found in both marine and freshwater habitats and there are also a few terrestrial species which can be found in damp or very humid soils. The host that the adult animal lives in is called the 'Primary' host. Those few species which are endoparasites do not normally venture deeply into their hosts tissues. Though it is amazing that they can do this. hooks and spines. Freshwater triclads are best known for their ability to regenerate after being damaged and to survive being mutilated. They tend to occupy a variety of habitats ranging from alpine streams to stagnant ponds. it is without doubt unpleasant for the animal to be chopped up. other hosts which are used by the juvenile stages are called 'Secondary' or 'Intermediate' hosts. but live instead in the cloaca or bladder. but unlike the Polyclads they have only three branches to their gut. whereas Digeneans and Cestodes are all endoparasites (meaning they live inside the bodies of their hosts). . clamps. Even more amazingly it was found that if the trained animal was killed and fed to an untrained animal. and or different forms in the different habitats. Monogeneans have an indirect life-cycle. or by tying a small piece of steak to a length of string and lowering it into a pond or slow moving stream until it reaches the bottom. More amazing yet is the fact that Dugesia deratocephala. All the species in this group are either commensals or parasites. easy to keep and fun to watch. fish. a species which has sufficient eyesight to distinguish between black and white can be trained to navigate a simple t-maze. Further more if the trained animal is cut in half. They are common in many freshwater habitats and can occasionally be found in fish tanks where they are not much appreciated by fish breeders because they will feed on fish eggs. Like the closely related Polyclads they they have an eversible pharynx. Personally I have always found them to be very attractive little animals and have kept in ceramic basins in my kitchen quite happily. Monogeneans normally have cephalopods (octopus and squid). Scientists are still unsure whether the relationship is a commensal one or a parasitic one. Others have survived numerous mutilations such that they grow multiple heads and tails.The Tricladida Triclads are among the best known and most fully studied of the non-parasitic Platyhelminthes. They are in fact easy to find. It can often be caught by searching the undersides of the leaves of aquatic plants. By further research scientists were able to learn that it was RNA and not DNA that the animal was using to remember the correct response. as well as in my fish tanks. The genus Dugesia is common in both Europe and North America. By far the best known and studied Triclads are the freshwater Planarians. some species of Triclads live with other animals. Class Monogenea The class monogenea is distinguished by most of its members being ectoparasite (meaning they live on the outside of their host's bodies). the untrained animal acquired the ability to escape the maze. The Temnocephalida The Temnocephalids are perhaps the most advanced group of the Turbellaria in terms of evolution. it was remembering with its whole body. In the waters around the USA Triclads of the genus Bdelloura can be found cling to the gills of Horse Shoe Crabs. the new animals that develop from both halves remember how to negotiate the maze.

Here in a safe and still enjoyably moist environment it reaches maturity. in which case it normally has two rings of cilia (i. Most species use some sort of mollusc or arthropod as the intermediate host and a vertebrate such as a fish or a turtle as the primary host. However they are not in fact four generations. this takes about three years. Eggs are laid and pass out of the host animal with its faeces. reptiles and cetaceans (whales) as their primary hosts and some smaller animal that the primary host eats as their intermediate host. They are mostly small animals ranging in size from 1 mm to several cm. The two animals form a permanent union. The second subclass is the Aspidogastrea which are a small group of absolutely no economic importance to mankind at all. is at 1 cm (0. It leaves the tadpole's gills and migrates through its digestive tract to the frog's cloaca. This young animal contains with in it. Then it waits patiently for the frog to mature. the eggs do not hatch until they are eaten by the intermediate host. still a smallish animal. elegans. however unlike most animals they stay mated for life. When the frog returns to the water to breed the parasite breeds as well. In others such as Austramphilina elongata they hatch in the water and the larvae swim around until they are able to infect a suitable. Some species however reach maturity in the invertebrate host. Class Trematoda The class Trematoda contains two subclasses.5 in) long animal is a parasite of frogs. in embryonic form. from there it moves to the frog's bladder. starting the cycle off all over again. Each adult G. but four sisters who all develop from a single egg. This 13 mm (0. This 1 mm long animal lives in the gills of European Carp. Also a parasite of fish young members of this species do not become sexually mature until they meet another member of their species. They also tend lack much in the way of 'host specificity' meaning they can be infective to a wide range of hosts. another young animal.e. for the Aspidogastreans one egg means one larvae and then one adult. though larger than G. which in turn contains another even smaller embryo which in turn contains yet another embryo. They are are all aquatic and as far as we know they all have indirect life cycles. or sometimes unsuitable host. An interesting Monogenean is the small Gyrodactylus elegans. The larvae can be either ciliated. joined near their midsections they form a most unusual animal that looks like a cross with moveable arms. the Digenea is a large and successful group with much economic importance to mankind. They have a large posterior sucker which is used to attach to the host. When the frog goes through its metamorphosis and leaves the water the parasite also changes. . In some species.In the intermediate host the larvae grow a certain amount and then wait until the intermediate host is eaten by the primary host. elegans eventually gives birth a single live young. it is interesting to biologists because 4 succeeding generations of the animal appear to be born out of the one ova (egg). The Aspidogastrea The Aspidogastrea are an interesting group of about 80 species of parasitic Platyhelminths. A third unusual example of a Mongenean is the Frog bladder Fluke Polystoma intergerrimum. such as Amphilina foliacea.4 in). one of which. They then achieve sexual maturity and mate.amphibians. meaning they have more than one host species. In some species such as Aspidogaster conchicola and Lobatostoma manteri the eggs are not laid until the larvae are nearly ready to hatch. As they grow each one of these animals gives birth to the embryo within it. and it must be remembered that there are a number of species in this group that we know very little about. Aspidogastreans have more simple life cycles than their Digenean relatives as they lack the intermediate forms that make Digeneans so prodigious in terms of numbers of young resulting from one egg. Another unique Monogenean is Diplozoon paradoxum which. Thus the larval parasites live on the gills of the frogs tadpoles. It times its reproductive cycle to be in harmony with the frogs reproductive cycle. Multicotyle purvisi and Cotylogaster occidentalis) or it can be unciliated as inRugogaster hydrolagi and Multicalyx elegans . In this way the original mother can produce four young for the cost of only one as each sister down the line takes responsibility for nuturing the next young to be born.

the Cestodaria and the Eucestoda. making the tapeworms hermaphrodites. While the intermediate hosts are often invertebrates of some sort.There is no real metamorphosis as far as is know. and sometimes more than one. though the hooks may be absent as in Taenia saginatus. Behind the scolex is a band of rapidly growing material that produces an endless series of reproductive segments called 'Proglottids'. i. and in a few species their may be only a single host. . In some species such as the Fish Tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum)can reach 20 metres in length. They all have complicated life cycles involving at least one intermediate host. the primary host is normally a vertebrate.000 species known to science. and because they do not feed in the usual manner there is no mouth. All species examined possess a large number of sensory receptors with the species that have freeswimmingg larvae having the greatest number. Having said this. All cestodes have at least one. There are more than 1. around the mouth. and preadult juveniles look much like the adults except that they are sexually immature. which is normally an aquatic snail as well as the primary host which is normally a vertebrate. the have two sucker. The mature Cestode always lives in the hosts intestines where it can obtain all its food for free. These nerves are connected by a network of lateral nerves. they simple absorb nutrients from their hosts guts. Cestodes have evolved to have no digestive system of their own. Flukes = The Digenea The Digeneans are a large and successful group of parasites. The class Eucestoda contains very few species that do not conform to the standard tapeworm body plan.e no external cilia. as in the common Beef Tapeworm Taenia saginatus. Because they live in darkness there are no eyes. The Class Cestoda is divided into two subclasses. Their excretory and nervous systems are similar to other Platyhelminthes. The male organs mature before the female ones. Both the larva and the adult possess a very complex nervous system involving a brain and two sets of longitudinal nerve cords one below the surface and one surrounding the mouth cavity.000 species of tapeworms known to science. For instanceMulticotyle purvisi possesses simple eyes while Lobatostoma manteri does not possess any eyes at all. secondary or intermediate host as well as their primary host. The adult body consists of a head. that of attachment. their bodies are unsegmented and roughly oval in shape. contain 3. The body contains a digestive system starting with a pharynx and including a short caecum. The Eucestoda contains all the animals we usually think of as tapeworms. a) to hold the animal to its host and b) to assist in feeding. called a 'Scolex' which is distinguished by the presence of suckers and hooks. The second sucker is found a little way further down the animals body and it has only a single function. Digeneans as adults are flat worm shaped animals. They have no need to travel and therefore have no locomotor organs. The proglottids contain both male and female reproductive organs. they have only one set of reproductive organs and the larvae have 10 hooks for attachment. A number of tapeworms include mankind in their life cycles but infection is not normally a serious health problem and can be cured. The traditional adult tapeworm is little more than a head with a complicated set of hooks to hang on with and a continuously produced series of reproductive segments behind this. having two testes and a single ovary. Tapeworms = Cestoda Cestodes or tapeworms are the most specialised of the Platyhelminthe parasites. To aid this process the entire surface of their body is covered with microscopic wrinkles or projections which greatly increase the surface area available for the absorption of nutrients. and nearly every species of vertebrate is liable to infection from at least one species of tapeworm. Sexually mature individuals are normally hermaphroditic.000 proglottids and produce millions of eggs every day. in some cases both hosts are vertebrates. The first is the oral sucker. there are also two excretory bladders to allow the animal to get rid of metabolic wastes. The larvae have 6 attachment hooks. The Cestodaria contains only a few species of unusual worms. this has two functions. There are about 6.

Adult Cestodiases of Mankind Scientific Name Diphylllobothrium latum Taenia saginata Taenia solium Hymenolepis nana Site of Infection Small Intestine Small Intestine Small Intestine Small Intestine Distribution Argentina. Pseudophyllidea and Cyclophyllidea which can be recognised by their different life cycles. In all three cases mankind is not the normal host and is only occasionally infected. 3) Echinococcosis or Hydatid Disease which is caused by Hydatid Cyst larvae of Echinococcus granulosus. Never-the-less. Great Lakes area USA Everywhere Everywhere Everywhere Larval Cestodiasis occurs in mankind in three forms: 1) Sparganosis which is caused by Plerocercoid larvae of Cestodes from the genus Spirometra. despite the uncommon occurrence of infection they are all fairly important diseases . There are two forms of Cestodiasis called 'Larval Cestodiasis' and 'Adult Cestodiasis' depending on whether or not it is the adult or larval stage of the tapeworm that is living in the humans body. see diagrams below. The disease that results from a human being infested or infected with Cestodes or Tapeworms is called 'Cestodiasis'. Japan.Within the Subclass Eucestoda those species which infect mankind can be found in two orders. Siberia. 2) Cysticercosis which is caused by Cysticercus larvae of the Pork Tapeworm Taenia solium. Europe.

from species which are almost microscopic to the largest of all invertebrates the giant squid which can weighs 270 kg and measures up to 12 metres long in the body. 2)Body has more than two cell layers. Molluscs are very ancient organisms believed to have evolved from a flatworm like ancestor during the Precambrium about 650 million years ago. tissues and organs. There close relatives the Nautiloid cephalopods were also once very successful but are now only represented in the world by one species. 9)Has a pair of kidneys. Molluscs. Octopus. from the arctic seas to small tropical streams and from valleys to mountainsides 7. 5)Body monomeric and highly variable in form. Squid. and the pearls which come from oysters. and possible blockage of the intestines. Hydatid disease in particular. Different classes of molluscs have been predominant in the past and the Ammonites represent a group of Cephalopods which were extremely abundant for millions of years before they became extinct. because of their ease of capture. Only heavy infestations are able to cause physical damage (of the gut wall). Introduction After the Arthropods the Molluscs are the most successful of the animal phyla in terms of numbers of species. edibility and beauty have long been important to mankind. Cockles. Clams. Adult Cestodiasis in humans is both far more common and far less pathogenic (makes people less ill). They occupy a vast range of habitats however both aquatic and terrestrial. may possess a dorsal or lateral shells of protein and calcareous spicules. some of these shells. because under poor sanitary conditions it is possible for them to become infected by the Cestode eggs from their own faeces. Most species secrete a shell of some sort. is a problem because in many cases the infestation can not be treated either by Chemotherapy (Medicines) or Surgery. Periwinkles. 7)Has an open circulatory system with a heart and an aorta.From the Latin Molluscus meaning soft of body. which are also molluscs may be among the earliest forms of money. there are a few adapted to live in deserts and some are parasitic. with tentacles as much as another 50 metres in length. Mankind has been deliberately culturing molluscs as food for a long time and the earliest known records of someone farming molluscs for food come from Rome where one Sergius Orata bred oysters. Whelks. Most molluscs are marine. Winkles and many more are all molluscs and all make there contribution to the human diet. The most serious possibility is for people infected with Taenia solium. Molluscs of many sorts are eaten by humans Abilone. Nautilus. 8)Has gaseous exchange organs called ctenidial gills. 4)Body possesses a through gut with mouth and anus. Characteristics of Mollusca:1)Bilaterally symmetrical. The Phylum Mollusca Etymology:. ganglia and paired nerve chords. 11)Feed a wide range of material. these shells are long lasting and have been collected by human beings for thousands of years. 12)Live in most environments.because the affects on the human host can be quite serious. 10)Reproduction normally sexual and gonochoristic. . this then results in them having Larval Cestodiasis as well i. Cysticercosis. Muscles.000 metres high. Scallops. 6)Has a nervous system with a circum-oesophagal ring. 3)Body without cavity. Because many species secrete a shell of some sort the fossil record is good.000 species known to science most of which are marine. Many species are common and many more a beautiful. Snails. There are about 110. Oysters. They also exhibit an enormous range in size.e.

The body is divided into two functional regions. In those species with shells the head-foot can be drawn into the shell. The head-foot is the part you see most easily in slugs and snails. Molluscs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Turbellarian Platyhelminth Yes Yes No. Not all the interactions between man and molluscs are to man's benefit however. Setae absent. it normally tapers to a tail at one end and has a head incorporated in the front. the head-foot and the visceral lump. which arise in oysters as a result of the oysters attempts to cover up a grain of sand within its mantle. this is entirely nonmuscular and contains the organs of digestion and reproduction. the heart and the digestive diverticulum. slugs and snails are. It is mostly a muscular organ covered in cilia and rich in mucous cells. but Rhabdites very similar Yes Yes Yes Though the modern molluscs show quite a wide degree of adaptable variability in form. in many tropical countries the shells of coweries were until recent times used extensively in trade. The 'mother of pearl' used to make pearl buttons comes from bivalve shells and so great was the market for it that the Mississippi and Missouri river basins have been seriously over collected and the bivalves are now quite scarce. Cuticle absent. In North America Tusk shells on the west coast and Cockles on the East supplied the basis of a system of money. Pearls. Possession of mucous glands. many have been used as decorations. The rest of the body is the visceral mass. which weaken the timbers until they collapse or fall apart. there are several basic anatomical characteristics that can be found in all or most of them. known as ship worms. Table 1. have been and still are much sort after. it includes the gonads. In ancient times the city of Tyre was famous for its purple dye. serious pests of of crops. or as a substance to carve into cameos and buttons. and are often a nuisance in peoples gardens. perhaps still is. Wooden ships and wharves can be destroyed by burrowing bivalves such as Teredo navalis. The head includes a mouth. the similarities are listed in table 1.Mollusc shells have also had a long history of usage by mankind. which the mollusc uses to move around. eyes and tentacles. Comparison of similarities of Molluscs and Turbellarian Platyhelminthes Characteristic Externally ciliated. in some places. the last two may be much reduced or even absent. while Sepia. a brown pigment used by artists was. Movement by cillial gliding or ventral muscular wave. the kidney. this dye was made from a marine mollusc called Murex sp. Intracellular digestion. made from the ink of Cuttlefish. General Anatomy Although the original ancestor of the molluscs is lost in the dawn of time scientists have theorised that the original mollusc arose from a flatworm (Platyhelminth) like organism. .

often called the skirt or pallium. This basic plan is changed and adapted. the outward bound current runs out between the two inward bound currents. Limpets. a water current.e. although they are multicellular. almost beyond recognition in some of the 6 classes of Mollusca.1 characteristics . this space is greatest towards the rear of the animal where it is called the mantle cavity or the pallial cavity. Clams Bivalvia etc. enclosing only the gonads and the heart where it is called the gonodial cavity and the pericardial cavity respectively. Slugs Gastropoda and Snails Scaphopoda Tusk Shells Bivalves = Muscles. Octopus and Cephalopoda Squid 4 Phylum Porifera — Sponges Sponges belong to Phylum Porifera. They have no organs or true tissues. Hopefully I will get something written about each class in the not too distant future. As sessile animals with only negligible body movement. They seem to be outside the line of evolution leading from the protozoans to the other metazoans — a dead–end branch. So. Nautilus. passes over the gills and departs centrally.Attached to the dorsal surface of the visceral mass is and hanging freely down the sides of it is the mantle. This then is the plan of a basic unevolved mollusc. for the requirements of different lifestyles. though the coelom they have is small. i. they have not evolved a nervous system or sense organs and have only the simplest of contractile elements. It is for this reason that they are often called the Parozoa. and even their cells show a certain degree of independence. just behind the mouth is a pair or more of ganglia and a nerve ring from which two nerve chords arise that reach out through the body. 4. Molluscs are true coelomic animals. sponges share few of the characteristics of other metazoan phyla. The mantle cavity generally contains the gills or ctenidia. enters the mantle cavity at the sides. generated by beating cillia. Near the head. There is a space between the mantle and the viseral mass. The Classes of Phylum Mollusca Amphineura Neopilina galatheae Monoplacopho Chitons ra Cowries.

protein spongin. . Asconoids: Flagellated spongocoels Asconoid sponges have the simplest organization. free-swimming ciliated larvae 4. for they are sessile animals. or a combination g. nervous system probably absent i. Reactions to stimuli apparently local and independent. Choanocyte flagella pull water through the pores and expel it through a single large osculum.a.2. Sponge body wall: pinacocyte mesoglea myocyte 肌细胞 spincule spongin fiber amoebocyte scleroblast spincule archeocyte (原细胞) collencyte (芒状细胞) spongioblast choanocyte (领细胞) spongin fiber 4.1 Body wall structure The body wall has an outer layer of epithelial cells or pinacocytes and an inner layer of choanocytes. Types of canal system: a. canals. and chambers that serve for passage of water c. They are small and tube shaped. all aquatic d. excretion and respiration by diffusion h. Radial symmetry or none e. No organs or true tissues. Multicellular. a gelatinous protein(胶原白蛋白)matrix called mesohyl (mesoglea ) contains amebocytes,collencytes (芒状细胞)and skeletal elements f. digestion intracellular. Asexual reproduction by buds or gemmules and sexual reproduction by eggs and sperm.2 Form and function 4. All adults sessile and attached to substratum j. which is lined with choanocytes.2 Types of canal system The bodies of sponges bear myriads of tiny pores and canals that comprise a filter-feeding system adequate for their inactive lifestyle. Water enters through microscopic dermal pores into a large cavity called a spongocoel. They depend on the water currents carried through their unique canal systems to bring them food and oxygen and to carry away their body wastes. body a loose aggregation of cells of mesenchymal(间充质)origin b. most interior surfaces lined with flagellated collar cells (choanocytes) that create water currents. Epidermis of flat pinacocytes.2. Skeleton of calcareous or silicious crystalline spicules. Body with pores (ostia). Mostly marine.

incurrent canal ----.incurrent canal ----.osculum C.2.flagellated chamber ----. Leuconoids — flagellated chambers Leuconoid organization is the most complex of the sponge types and permits an increase in sponge size. Syconoids — flagellated canals Syconoid sponges look somewhat like larger editions of asconoids.4 Reproduction .osculum b. intracellular digestion.apopyle--------. Clusters of flagellated chambers are filled from incurrent canals and discharge water into excurrent canals that eventually lead to the osculum. but the body wall. which occurs in most Calcarea and in all other classes. 4. Thespongocoel in syconoids is lined with epithelial-type cells rather than flagellated cells as in asconoids.apopyle ----. During development. c. which is thicker and more complex than that of asconoids. b.central cavity ----. Water enters through a large number of dermal ostiainto incurrent canals and then filters through tiny openings called prosopyles into the radial canals. or 4 rays ) spongin fibers Glass sponges: siliceous spicules (6 rays) 4. there are no respiratory or excretory organs.central cavity ----. from which they were derived. whose flagella force the water through internal pores (apopyles) into the spongocoel. Their development provides evidence that syconoid sponges were derived from asconoid ancestral stock. Most leuconoids form large masses with numerousoscula.Ostium ----. or 4 rays ) Demospongiae (寻常海绵纲) ----. Sycon is a commonly studied example of the syconoid type of sponge. both functions are apparently carried out by diffusion in individual cells. 2. Most sponges are of the leuconoid type. There food is ingested by the choanocytes. then flagellated canals form byevagination of the body wall. Ostium ----. Calcareous sponges: crystalline calcium carbonate (1. All the life activities of the sponge depend on the current of water flowing through the body. preventing collapse of the canals and chambers. From there it emerges through an osculum. Ostium ----. syconoid sponges pass through an asconoid stage.siliceous spicules (1.osculum excurrent canal ----.radial canal ----. Syconoids are found in classes Calcarea and Hexactinellida. contains choanocyte-lined radial canals that empty into the spongocoel.3 Sponge physiology a.3 Type of skeletons The skeleton gives support to the sponge. They have a tubular body and single osculum.prosopyle ----. Syconoids do not usually form highly branched colonies as asconoids do.central cavity 4.prosopyle ----. 3.

External buds.5. Development of the sponge: Ovum ----. 6-rayed ( or some modification ). the size of thespicules (megascleres or microscleres ). Leucosolenia ( 白枝海绵属) 4. e. or gemmules. the number of axes or rays of the spicules and their shape and distribution.Attached gastrula 4.5 Classification Sponge classification is based largely on skeletal structure. separate or united in networks. The glass sponges possess siliceous spicules. after reaching a certain size. and germinate when conditions improves. From deep seas. They are composed of a mass ofarchaeocytes rich in food reserves. Asexual reproduction occurs by means of bud formation and by regeneration following fragmentation. Marine gemmules develop external flagella at one pole and after swimming for a time attach by the opposite pole and develop into young sponges.2 Class Hexactinellida (六放海绵纲) a. Class includes sponges of simple asconoid form and of syconoid or leuconoid form. are formed in freshwater sponges and some marine sponges. Internal buds. which are separate crystalline spicules and / or organic fibers secreted by a type ofamoebocyte called a scleroblast (成骨针细胞). b. or 4-rayed crystalline spicules of calcium carbonate. 3. 4. may become detached from the parent and float away to form new sponges.1 Class Calcarea (钙质海绵纲) a. The gemmules are another means of surviving adverse conditions. asexual reproduction external buds internal buds ( gemmules ) In sexual reproduction most sponges are monoecious (have both male and female sex cells in one individual ). The calcareous sponges possess 1.g, Euplectella ( 偕老同穴) Hyalonema (佛子介) .Gastrula invagination(原肠胚陷入) ----.48-cell stage ----. Sponges are classified according to the chemical composition of the skeletal elements.Blastula before inversion ----Amphiblastula(两囊幼虫)after inversion ----. sexual reproduction b.g. a. e.Sponges reproduce both asexually and sexually.8-cell stage ----. and in fresh-water species possess a hard coat.5. or they may remain to form colonies. b.

form of constraction leuconoid.4. Members of the class Scyphozoa have only the medusa stage in their life cycle. Examples include sea anemones.5. They are the most large and complex members of this phylum. . In the larval stage. Proliferation of flagellated chambers in leuconoid sponges was more favorable to an increase in body size than that of asconoid and syconoid sponges because facilities for feeding and gaseous exchange were greatly enlarged. collagen in the form of large fibers or filaments (sponging). There is both extracellular and intracellular digestion. Class includes some fresh-water-forms. Spongilla ( 针海棉 ) Adaptive Radiation Porifera are a highly successful group that includes several thousand species and a variety of marine and freshwater habitats. members are free swimming. with a migration of flagellated cells at the surface to the interior or the production of an amphiblastula with inversion and growth of macromeres over micromeres. have tissues and a simple nervous system. and have stinging cells called nematocysts.g . Examples include the Portuguese man-o-war. Examples include the common jellyfish. They have various specialized cells. Their diversification centers largely on their unique water-current system and its various degrees of complexity. They display radial symmetry and have two embryonic cell layers (the epidermis and thegastrodermis) separated by jellylike mesoglea. They are slightly more complex than hydrozoans. Members of the class Anthozoa have only the polyp stage in their life cycle. Sponges reproduce asexually by budding. or a combination of spicules and spongin in most species. Classification The three classes are grouped according to body plan. Most sponges are monoecious but produce sperm and oocytesat different times. and gemmules (internal buds). c. Movement Most adult cnidarians are free floating. Protection Members of this phylum use nematocysts for protection. Members of the classHydrozoa have both the polyp and medusa stage in their life cycle. They are supported by secreted skeletons of fibrillar collagen. e. b.calcareons or siliceous spicules. hylum Cnidaria Characteristics Members of this phylum live in both fresh and salt water. Summary Sponges (phylum Porifera) are an abundant marine group with some fresh-water representatives. Sponges have great regenerative abilities. but these are not organized into tissues or organs. They depend on the flagellar beat of their choanocytes to circulate water through their bodies for food gathering and respiratory gas exchange. Possess 1 to 4-rayed siliceous spicules (typically tetrahedral ) and / or collagenous ( spongin ) fibres ( no skeleton in some primitive forms ). Embryogenesis is unusual.3 Class Demospongiae (寻常海绵纲) a. fragmentation. Feeding & Digestion Cnidarians employ stinging cells called cnidocytes to catch food.

Bilateral symmetry. 8. but bites are uncommon. jumping spiders. after first molt four pairs of legs. two spotted spider mite. Book lungs. Many are microscopic or close to it. 6. a tubular dorsal blood vessel. honeylocust spider mite. Instars are called nymphs. Respiration by gills. rust mite. Excretion Excretion is accomplished through diffusion. orb weaver spiders (pictured). 3. Poor eyesight. broad mite. Feed in leaf litter. some predators. trap door spiders. Most make webs. two body regions (cephalothorax. mites. ground spiders All spiders are beneficial and most are harmless to humans. Order Opiliones daddy longlegs Common species: daddy longlegs Book lungs. crab spiders. very long legs. Segmented body. eriophyid mite. Nervous system of anterior ganglia and paired nerve cords. Classes of Phylum Arthropoda Phylum Arthropoda Phylum Arthropoda jointed legs Class Arachnida Class Chilopoda Class Diplopoda Class Crustacea Epiclass Hexapoda Class Entognatha Class Insecta (Ectognatha) Common name/ examples of common species spiders. 9. Newly hatched larvae 3 pairs of legs. The statocyst is a gravitational sensory organ. so hairs compensate for it. cobweb weavers. raspberries. abdomen) and chelicerae or fangs with venom glands. Paired segmented appendages. Book lungs. The ocellus is a simple photoreceptor organ. European red mite. detritus feeders. Striated muscles in skeletal system. and strawberries. feed on fruit such as blackberries. Nervous System Cnidarians posses simple muscles and nerves. mites have only one noticeable body region. clover mite. 7. 10. Sexual reproduction occurs in the medusa stage. Open circulatory system.Circulation Circulation is mainly accomplished through diffusion. Tubular alimentary canal with mouth and anus. . Chitnous exoskeleton. active at night. or spiracle. 4. cyclamen mite. funnel web spiders. 5. Reproduction Asexual reproduction occurs through budding. Body cavity or coelom. one apparent body region. Wolf spiders and jumping spiders have excellent eyesight. commonly encountered. tracheae. Respiration Respiration is accomplished through diffusion. Class Arachnida Order Araneae spiders Common families: wolf spiders. abdomen and cephalothorax short. insects Characteristics 1. 2. Order? Acari ticks and mites Common species: spruce spider mite. Harmless. Potentially dangerous spiders include brown recluse spider and black widow spider. etc.

pedipalps modified as pinchers. lobsters Common species: crayfish. University of Sydney Class Crustacea Crabs. 2 pairs of antennae. segments may be fused. 1st pair of legs modified into venomous fangs. 1 pair of antennae. isopods abdomen. desert hairy scorpions. detritivores.head. predators. long tail ending in stinger. venomous. 1 pair of legs per body segment. Class Chilopoda centipedes Common species: centipedes Many body segments. varied number of legs. Book lungs.Order Scorpiones scorpions Common species: bark scorpions (pictured). 1 pair of antennae. thorax and shrimp. Several body regions . crabs. University of Sydney . University of Sydney Class Diplopoda millipedes Common species: millipedes Many body segments. Nocturnal predators of other small animals. 2 pair of legs per body segment. vaejovid scorpions. most are harmless.

detritivores very small. antennae. nymphs and adults different in appearance winged adults. str. difference between nymphs and adults is size two caudal filaments. simple eyes. 3. One pair of maxillae.composed of tubes. with holes (spiracles) through the body that admit air. thorax.? ? Table 2: Classes of Epiclass Hexapoda ? Epiclass Hexapoda Common name Characteristics 1. nymphs and adults different in appearance winged adults. difference between nymphs and adults is size wings at rest held over herbivores body. nymphs predators and adults different in appearance ametabolous/ no metamorphosis Order Collembola springtails Apterygota/wingless mouthparts withdrawn in head ametabolous/ no metamorphosis Order Diplura diplurans Class Insecta (Ectognatha) Apterygota/wingless ametabolous/ no Ectognatha: protruding mouthp metamorphosis arts Ametabolous/ no metamorphosis Pterygota means winged Paleoptera: Members of paleopterous insects cannot fold their wings back over their abdomens. wingless adults. nymphs and adults in different habitat. Three distinct head regions: head. herbivores nymphs and adults in detritivores same habitat. detritivores compound eyes. 4. mouthparts Class Entognatha Apterygota/wingless Entognatha: mouthparts withdrawn in head Apterygota/wingless mouthparts withdrawn in head metamorphosis ametabolous/ no metamorphosis order/meaning common order name name Order Protura proturans Three pairs of legs on thorax. 2-3 caudal filaments. predators nymphs and adults in different habitat. protruding mouthparts hemimetabolous/ incomplete metamorphosis Pterygota Paleoptera protruding mouthparts Order Thysanura silverfish s. antennae. morphological ecology/ characteristic food no eyes. 2. no antennae. difference between nymphs and adults is size three tail like detritivores appendages body flattened and covered with scales. abdomen One pair antenna. 5. wingless adults. wingless adults. difference between nymphs and adults is size furcula or fork-like detritivores springing structures. tracheal respiratory system. One pair of mandibles. wingless adults. winged adults. (Zygentoma) hemimetabolous/incompl Order ete metamorphosis Ephemeroptera live for a day mayflies hemimetabolous/incompl Order Odonata ete metamorphosis toothed mandibles dragonflies and damselflies Pterygota means winged Neoptera: Neopterous insects can fold wings with structures at the base of wings protruding mouthparts hemimetabolous/incompl Order Plecoptera stoneflies ete metamorphosis folded wings .

katydids paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Mantodea plete metamorphosis soothsayer mantids predators paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Blattaria plete metamorphosis cockroaches detritivores paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Isoptera plete metamorphosis equal wings termites wood feeders paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Dermaptera earwigs plete metamorphosis skin-like front wings paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Zoaptera plete metamorphosis pure wingless zoapterans detritivores detritivores paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Psocoptera psocids plete metamorphosis rubbing or gnawing detritivores . nymphs and adults in same habitat and similar appearance winged adults. nymphs and adults in same habitat. nymphs and adults similar in appearance winged adults. nymphs and adults in same habitat. nymphs herbivores and adults in same habitat. plete metamorphosis straight wings crickets. nymphs and adults similar in appearance winged adults. nymphs and adults in same habitat.Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Incomplete metamorphosis: Egg. nymph. nymphs and adults similar in appearance winged adults. adult Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order plete metamorphosis Phasmatodea phantom walking sticks winged adults. nymphs and adults in same habitat. nymphs and adults in same habitat and similar appearance herbivores paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Orthoptera grasshoppers. nymphs and adults similar in appearance winged adults. nymphs and adults similar in appearance winged adults. nymphs and adults in same habitat. nymphs and adults similar in appearance winged adults.

larva. pupa protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Phthiraptera lice nymphs and parasites plete metamorphosis without wings adults in same Mallophaga. nymphs and adults in same habitat. herbivores plete metamorphosis AuchenorhynchaSternorrhyncha hoppers. scales paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Thysanoptera thrips winged adults.Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Complete metamorphosis: Egg. not similar appearance herbivores predators detritivores predators . tree winged adults. habitat and similar Anoplura. basal portion usually adults in same parasites thickened and distal habitat and similar membranous appearance paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Hemiptera/ suborders cicadas. winged adults. appearance aphids. not in similar appearance holometabolous/complete metamorphosis Order Coleoptera sheath or covered wing. predators metamorphosis nerve winged antlions nymphs and owlflies adults in same habitat. not similar appearance winged adults. herbivores plete metamorphosis fringed wings nymphs and adults in same habitat and similar appearance holometabolous/complete Order Neuroptera lacewings. elytra beetles holometabolous/complete metamorphosis Order Mecoptera long wings scorpionflies winged adults. sucking lice appearance paurometabolous/gradual/incom Order Hemiptera/ suborder bugs winged adults. habitat and similar whiteflies. plant nymphs and (old Homoptera) hoppers. chewing lice. adults in same front wings uniform in texture psyllids. nymphs and adults in same habitat. herbivores plete metamorphosis Heteroptera nymphs and predators half wings.

hind wings) bees The Phylum Annelida Etymology:. nymphs and adults in same habitat. but there are also a number of well know terrestrial species. a trunk and a pygidium. Most species prefer aquatic environments. Without them. Dew or Earthworms that work so hard to make our soils healthy. 4)Body possesses a through gut with mouth and anus. This involves enticing earthworms from their holes (catching them). The rules specify that the . wings by hamuli (on wasps. te metamorphosis union front back parasitic. 3)Body cavity is a true coelom. not similar appearance winged adults. ants. 11)Live in most environments. Only a few species of annelids are commonly known to human beings.From the Latin Annellus a little ring. In marine environments the numerous species of Polychaetes play a fundamentally important role in the maintenance of food chains and the whole ecological balance of the seas. thus supporting the seemingly endless stocks of fish we like to eat.Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts Pterygota Neoptera protruding mouthparts holometabolous/comple Order Siphonoptera fleas te metamorphosis tube and wingless holometabolous/comple Order Diptera flies te metamorphosis two wings. 5)Body possesses 3 separate sections. these include the delightful Rain. originally it was a means of acquiring worms for bait. Despite the amazing and delicate beauty of polychaetes such as the Fan Worms. but now-a-days it is a sport. often divided by internal septa. not similar appearance winged adults. agriculture and perhaps the whole of human society as we know it would never have evolved. are exceedingly important in soil creation. not similar appearance parasites herbivores predators detritivores parasites parasitoids predators hervivores herbivores predators parasitoids holometabolous/comple Order Hymenoptera sawflies. 7)Has a true closed circulatory system. 2)Body has more than two cell layers. not similar appearance winged adults. not similar appearance winged adults. tissues and organs. nymphs and adults in same habitat. 2nd pair of wings halteres holometabolous/comple Order Trichoptera te metamorphosis hair wings holometabolous/comple Order Lepidoptera te metamorphosis scale wings caddisflies moth and butterflies winged adults. a prosomium.000 species of worms. One of the strangest ways that humans relate to Annelids is in the hobby of 'Worm Charming'. The earthworms. nymphs and adults in same habitat. nymphs and adults in same habitat. Like so much of the unnoticed invertebrate world earthworms are essential to our very existence. and people who live closer to nature are naturally more familiar with a much wider range of Annelids than those who live in cities. of which there are many species. ganglia and a ventral nerve chord. 6)Has a nervous system with an anterior nerve ring. Characteristics of Annelida:1)Bilaterally symmetrical and vermiform. Welcome to the Amazing World of Annelids. 8)Has no true respiratory organs. the Ragworms and Lugworms used by marine fishermen and the much smaller Tubifex or Red worms used by aquarists to feed their fish. 10)Feed a wide range of material. 9)Reproduction normally sexual and gonochoristic or hermaphoditic. nymphs and adults in same habitat. and the huge (really beyond estimation) economic debt owed by mankind to the Oligochaete Earthworms for their work in soil creation and maintenance many people still fail to appreciate their true wonder and beauty. particularly in temperate areas. The Annelida are a medium sized phylum of more than 9. In many countries people are still familiar with Medicinal leeches. The world record as far as I know is held by Tom Shufflebotham who charmed 511 worms from their underground hideouts from an area of 3 square metres in only 30 minutes during the 1980 Annual Worm Charming Championships held in Cheshire UK.

The class Aelosomata contains about 25 species of small to minute worms with many chaetae. Generally they have a more rounded cross-section. however some are sequential hermaphrodites (meaning they are one sex first and then change to being the other sex). . drugs or digging. We now know that this is not a taxonomically valid classification but it is useful as it divides the class in two in terms of the number of families each group contains. This clitellum. a mouth and sometimes a peristomium. In some species they are produced throughout the animals life but in many species production stops once a certain set number of segments has been achieved. or may not. Oligochaeta live in marine. The head consists of a mouth (prostomium) and sometimes a peristomium. Chaeta = bristle) are the most diverse and most speciose group of the Annelida containing over 5. Annelids are coelomate animals meaning they have a true coelom within their body. They are predominantly marine animals and are divided ecologically into the Errantia and the Sedentaria depending on whether or not they live sedentary lives in holes or live more active lives. as it is not really a tail. freshwater and terrestrial habitats. the Branchiobdella and the Hirundinea.02 ins). They are little known to science and their classification is disputed with some authors considering them to be part of the Oligochaeta. but may be easily recognised. They live in the interstitial zone of both fresh and brackish water environments. it contains three subclasses. become independent of the parent worm before mating. They are often dorsoventrally flattened. The basic Annelid body plan is one of a head followed by a long thin body of numerous similar segments ending in a small tail. New segments are produced by the foremost section of the pygidium. The head is often reduced and difficult to distinguish in the hole living species. even if this is reduced secondarily). Annelids have two main modes of existence. They are hermaphrodites with each animal possessing one ovary and two testis. an organ which looks like a bandage of skin wrapped around the animal. Annelids are coelomate animals (meaning they have a true coelom. The smallest Annelid known to science is Chaetogaster annandalai which is full grown at 0. from which the whole group takes its name has an important function in sexual reproduction.36 m (54 ins) and a record breaking specimen has been recorded that measured 6. The Errantia have well developed heads and complex parapodia (paddles)that they can use for swimming. The other two classes are the Polychaeta which contains the largest number of species and the Aelosomatida which contains very few. Growth occurs both laterally. A few species are parasitic but most species are free living. a less distinct head and are less diverse in form than the Polychaetes. comprised of a prostomium. and through the addition of new segments.5 mm (0. of which Michrochaetus rappi (Michrochaetus michrochaetus) is the largest.500 species. These segments lie between the head. Larger worms have been reported but not scientifically proven. and a tail called a pygidium. otherwise reproduction may asexual by fission. with eyes and other sensory devices in those species living a more active life. and these can be simple and small as in the Earthworms or complex and varied as in many Polychaetes. The subclass Oligochaeta (Oligo = few. the Oligochaeta. The Phylum Annelida is divided into 3 classes. They normally have long thin bodies composed of a series of identical segments. They are normally hermaphrodites. they either live rather quietly in holes or they live more active lives. These segments are destroyed or die during or immediately after they have released their gametes (sperm and ova). this magnificent animal has an average length of 1. Most polychaetes are gonochoristic (meaning they are either male or female). The class Polychaeta (Poly = many. The class Clitellata contains three distinct groups. by enlargement of the segments during the juvenile stages. Reproduction is often accompanied by the production of special modified reproductive segments which may. and possess a clitellum as adults. Chaeta = bristle) are the second most numerous group of annelids with around 3.100 species. one of which the Clitellata could really be called a Superclass. Annelids range in size from the Giant Earthworms.worms must be brought to the surface without using refreshment.8 ins) in diametre. They have sets chaetae attached to each body segment.7 metres (22 ft) in length. Tom used a method called twanging which involves sticking a 4-pronged pitchfork into the ground and twanging it. and the tail is more correctly called a pygidium. it was 2cm (0. stimulation.

to express it simply. pharynx with dorsal and ventral chitinous jaws. 6)Nervous system includes a circum-oesophageal ring. detritus or other animals. Body with appendages.Cirrodrilus Pierantoni. Leaches are well known for their blood sucking habits and their head to tail looping mode of locomotion.000 living members. 7)Has a poorly defined open circulatory system. They are mostly found in the northern hemisphere. 10)Normally possesses a subepidermal system of calcareous plates 11)Reproduction normally sexual and gonochoristic. The Echinodermata are Feather Stars. it is called Trepang. They are one of the best known and most loved groups of invertebrates. mostly radial. Also in Asia the body wall of certain Sea Cucumbers is eaten. 9)Without excretory organs. Different species attach to their hosts at different places on the body.From the Greek Echinos for half and Derma for skin. Sand Dollars and Sea Lilies. Brittle Stars. They have evolved many morphological and physiological characteristics that set them apart from all the other phyla. Like the Oligochaeta from which they are believed to have evolved the Hirundinea occur in Fresh water. Sea Cucumbers. yet they are totally unique in many ways. Sea Urchins. They are also one of the most evolutionarily advanced phyla. we are still a long way from really understanding them well. 8)Possesses a water vascular system. they have two suckers which in most cases are located one at the anterior (head) end of the body composed of segments 1-4 and the other at the posterior (tail) end composed of segments 25-33. with posterior sucker. which hydraulically operates the tube feet or feeding tentacles. The echinoderms are. marine and terrestrial environments. Because of their calcareous skeleton many echinoderms fossilize well and we have a good record of their evolutionary history derived from more than 20. nevertheless some are eaten by other echinoderms and some by human beings. but despite their various forms they do all possess the characteristics outlined above. Characteristics of Echinodermata:1)Possess 5-rayed symmetry. Echinoderms are protected from most predators by their spines. commensal on crayfish. They are an ancient and very successful phylum of invertebrates with around 6. 3)Body cavity a true coelom. thus Branchiobdella parastica attaches to the under side of the abdomen while Branchiobdella astaci attaches to its hosts gills. wonderfully attractive both aesthetically and intellectually. this contains over 50% digestible protein so it is valuable nutrition wise as well as tasty. Early attempts to control the Crown-of-Thorns starfish by chopping it up into several pieces merely resulted in helping it disperse as each piece grew into a new animal. both raw and cooked and are considered to be very tasty. 13)All live marine environments. . sometimes bilateral. The gonads of Sea Urchins are eaten in several places around the world. at first it may not be obvious how they are all related. tissues and organs. 2)Body has more than two cell layers. With two pairs of testes in segments 5 and 6. 12)Feeds on fine particles in the water. Except for the primitive Acanthobdella peledina leeches have no chaetae and 33 body segments. As you can see from this list they are a morphologically very diverse group. 4)Most possesses a through gut with an anus. 5)Body shape highly variable. The first echinoderms (called carpoids) did not have any radial symmetry which shows that this characteristic was acquired later in the group's evolutionary history. They first evolved about 600 million years ago in the Precambrian along with many of the other major phyla. The Phylum Echinodermata Etymology:. Starfish. Echinoderms are often difficult animals to kill and many have well developed powers of regeneration. 1905 Without setae. astaci are known to be parasitic feeding off host tissue but B. and although much research has been done on them. but with no head. Branchiobdella hexodonta and B. The subclass Hirundinea contains the 500 or so species of animals commonly known as leeches. They are popular as symbols because of their unique shapes and beautiful colours.000 fossil species. parasitica is thought by some authorities to be a commensal. Appendages in the form of pointed bands encircling the dorsal surface of the body The subclass Branchiobdella contains 147 species of small (about 1 cm long) aquatic whitish animals that are either commensals or parasites on Crayfish.

6 ins).22 ins). No parasitic species of echinoderms are known. ctenophores and protozoa. 1) A set of closely joined plates with little individual movement that exist as a test or shell (Feather Stars and Sea Urchins). In the case of Echinoderms the symmetry is pentaradial. Whatever form they take these plates or ossicles are always made from calcite. tiny pincers that keep other marine animals from settling on their skeleton.130 ft). polychaetes. the ingredients for which are found in sea water. is only a single layer of cells which covers the entire animal including its various spines. Secondly they have what is called a water vascular system. Echinoderms are all marine and nearly all are benthic. The outer layer.Starfish. though there is the possibility that it was human mediated interference in the marine ecosystem that allowed it to become a pest. which in this case is quite leathery (Sea Cucumbers). Diametre of shell = 5. Each of its spines is encased in a sheath which contains the venom. Length = less than 4mm (0. They are distinguished from the other phyla by several main characteristics. The Crown-of-Thorns Starfish is the only seriously venomous Starfish. though a number of species live commensally with other organisms such as fish. the only other phylum to possess radial symmetry is the Cnidaria. The middle layer is much thicker and is called the dermis. this is basically a hydraulic system and is unique to echinoderms. Fourthly they have either radial or occasionally bilateral symmetry.18 ins). and Sea Urchins populations suffer because they are collected and dried to be sold as trinkets to the tourists. Found at a depths up to 10. in this modern world you would consider it uncivilised to buy a dead bird or an elephants foot as a holiday keepsake so why buy a dead Echinoderm. In coastal tourist zones Starfish. meaning there are five planes of symmetry. Japan 1 m long by 24 cm diametre (39 ins by 9. Philippines South Australia astern Australia India Marianas Trench Largest Sea Cucumber Stichopus variagatus Smallest Starfish Smallest Sea Urchin Smallest Cucumber Deepest Living Patiriella Parvivipara Echinocyamus scaber Psammothuria ganapatii Myriotrochus bruuni Did you know there are Starfish in the Genus Pteraster that lives off the Pacific coast of North America that secretes copious amounts of thick poisonous mucous whenever they are attacked by a predator.38 m (4 ft 6 in ). This layer encloses the the animal's coelom separating the animals guts from its skin. Maximum Radius of 4. This exoskeleton takes three different forms.7 mm (0. thus older animals are . The now infamous Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) has caused serious damage to many coral reefs around the world. Platyhelminths. Maximum weight of 6 kg 13 lb 4 oz).5 ins). The third layer is also a single layer of cells the main difference being that these cells are ciliated. because as long as people keep buying them ruthless people will continue to exterminate local populations for the sake of money.16 ins). They are called Slimestars and the poison in their mucous is a saponin. It is called the 'coelomic lining'.5 mm (0.710 m or (35. or Sea Stars are often a pest of commercial clam and oyster beds. 2) A set of separately articulating (more freely moving) small plates called ossicles (Starfish. Firstly they have a spiny calcareous exoskeleton comprised of numerous plates. a single Starfish my eat over a dozen oysters or young clams every day. Brittle Stars and the arms of Crinoids). An individual Slimestar can secrete so much mucous its predator gets bogged down it. It is composed of connective tissue and contains the exoskeleton. Some Record Holders Relevant Information Can have an arm reach of 1. or any other animal for that matter. Biology The body wall of echinoderms consists of three layers. molluscs. 3) A collection of widely separated microscopic ossicles lying in the dermis. called the epidermis. unlike the Cnidaria which have an uncountable number of planes of symmetry. most notably the Great Barrier Reef off Eastern Australia. It is better not to buy such things. Record Largest Starfish Heaviest Starfish Largest Sea Urchin Species Midgardia xandros Thromidia catalai Sperosoma giganteum Waters Gulf of Mexico New Caledonia The shell has an average diametre of 32 cm (12. Thirdly they have pedicellaria. The exoskeleton of echinoderms grows continuously throughout the animals life. meaning they live on the sea floor. other echinoderms.

The ring canal is a ring as might be expected and it has five longitudinal canals branching off from it into each of the arms. These various protuberances are also generally made from calcite. which are believed to be the most ancient of the echinoderms. The water vascular system of the echinoderms is unique in the living world and easily distinguishes them from all other phyla. Echinoderms have a sub-epidermal nerve net running all over their body. they develop the pentaradial symmetry of the adult forms later on. into the descending tube feet and the ampulla that operate them. In the Crinoidea. The tube feet pass through small holes in the animals exoskeleton and muscles around the ampulla (which remains inside the exoskeleton) squeeze water into them causing them to extend or relax. on each side of each canal there arises a series of short lateral canals that lead. and I shall look at the ecology and biology of the 4 extant classes separately. In species with more than 5 arms these canals branch out into each arm. As well as this they have a circum-oral nerve ring with 5 radial nerve cords extending from it into the arms. In the other groups it is straight-through gut with the mouth and anus on approximately opposite sides of the body. From this a short straight canal called the 'stone canal' leads to the 'ring canal'. or their morphological equivalents in Echinoidea and Holothuroidea. Fertilisation is always external and the larvae are planktonic and biradial. Many Echinoderms use their tube feet as organs for gaseous exchange. the tube feet are branched and secrete mucous. substrate eaters or carnivores. but others such as the Ophiuroidea and the Holothuroidea have additional special sites or organs of respiration. The exoskeleton supports the spines. Phylum Echinodermata Subphylum Homalozoa Class Homostelea Class Homoiostelea Class Stylophora Class Ctenocystoidea Extinct Extinct Extinct Extinct Subphylum Crinozoa Class Eocrinoidea Class Paracrinoidea Class Cystoidea Class Blastoidea Class Extinct Extinct Extinct Extinct Sea Lilies and Feather Stars . via a valve. Echinoidea and Holothuroidea they are thicker and end in suckers. In Asteroidea. The phylum is divided into 4 subphyla and 16 classes of which 12 are now extinct. and or its spines. an echinoderm also has contact with the external world through its water vascular system and the tube-feet that are a part of this system. warts and tubercles that are often found on the echinoderm surface. Classification The Echinoderms are a very diverse group. The gut is U-shaped in the Crinoidea with the mouth and anus being on the same surface. The system takes slightly different forms in the different classes. Echinoderms are either filter feeders. These nerves are in connection with those of the sub-epidermal nerve net. Apart from its skin. In the Ophiuroidea the tube feet are simple and slender.always larger than younger ones. The water vascular system starts with an opening to the external environment called a madreporite.

Sea Biscuits and Sand Dollars Sea Cucumbers .Crinoidea Subphylum Asterozoa Class Ophiuroidea Class Asteroidea Brittle Stars Sea Stars. Starfish and Sand Dollars Subphylum Echinozoa Class Helicoplacoidea Class Edriosteroidea Class Ophiocistioidea Class Echinoidea Class Holothuroidea Extinct Extinct Extinct Sea Urchins.

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