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CHIEF TAXONOMIC SUBDIVISIONS and ORGAN SYSTEMS of the Animal Phyla Skin and Endo- Muscular

Phylum Classes Exoskeleton skeleton Motor Digestive Respiratory Excretory Circulatory Reproductive Nervous Sensory
Stratified epidermis with Vertebrae, cartilage, Lungs Pronephros, mesonephros 4-chambered heart with Dioecious; gonads, ducts,
keratinized layer, hair, nails, bone, (embryonic), metanephros two artria and two copulatory organs
Mammalia scales, dermis, glands in adult ventricles; closed system;
hepatic portal

Stratified epidermis with Vertebrae, cartilage, Lungs Pronephros, mesonephros 4-chambered heart with Dioecious; gonads, ducts, Special sense
keratinized layer, feathers, bone (embryonic), metanephros copulatory organs (in some) organs of taste,
two artria and two
Aves scales, beaks, claws, dermis
Alimentary canal
in adult ventricles; closed system;
smell, hearing;
typically divided into hepatic and renal portal
mouth with jaws, oral
Stratified epidermis with Vertebrae, cartilage, cavity, pharynx, Lungs Pronephros, mesonephros 3-4 chambered heart with Dioecious; gonads, ducts,
keratinized layer and scales, bone esophagus, stomach, (embryonic), metanephros two atria and 1-2 ventricles; copulatory organs
Reptilia dermis small intestine, cecum, in adult closed system; hepatic and
large intestine, anus; renal portal
accessory glands present
(liver, pancreas, Dorsal tubular
Stratified epidermis partly Vertebrae, cartilage, salivary glands: Branchial gill slits, Pronephros (embryonic), 3-chambered heart with Dioecious; gonads, ducts
brain and spinal
Amphibia cornified (keratinized),
dermis, glands
Embryologically, the
gills, lungs, skin opisthonephros in adult two artria and one
ventricle; closed system;
cord with cranial,
spinal, and
basic plan is a hepatic and renal portal autonomic
Endomesodermal CHORDATA Stratified epidermis, Cranium,vertebrae,
Smooth, cardiac, and
(ectodermal), a midgut Branchial gill slits, gills, Pronephros (embryonic), 3-chambered heart with Dioecious; gonads, ducts

pouches Body segmented; axial notochord, which may be dermal scales, glands (endodermal), and a lungs opisthonephros in adult two atria and one ventricle;
give rise to coelom permanent or temporary; dorsal tubular nerve cord; Sarcopterygii cartilage, bone skeletal muscles
arranged in patterns
proctodeum closed system; hepatic and
paired gill slits in pharynx at some stage, postanal (ectodermal) renal portal
tail at some stage; endostyle or thyroid gland of gross units
Branchial gill slits, Pronephros (embryonic), 2-chambered heart ; closed Usually dioecious; gonads, Special sense organs of
Radial Cleavage NOTE: Subphyla Urochordata and Cephalochordata
Stratified epidermis, Cranium,vertebrae,
taste, smell, hearing;
Primitive gut are protochordates (having no cranium or vertebral
column). The remaining classes belong to
Actinopterygii dermal scales, glands cartilage, bone gills opisthonephros in adult system; hepatic and renal
ducts, copulatory organs
(in some) eyes; lateral-line;
subphylum Vertebrata.
Blastocoel Stratified epidermis, Cranium, vertebrae, Branchial gill slits, Pronephros (embryonic), 2-chambered heart; closed Dioecious; gonads, ducts,
(later obliterated)
Chondrichthyes dermis, placoid scales, cartilage gills opisthonephros in adult system; hepatic and renal copulatory organs

glands portal
Stratified epidermis, dermis Persistent notochord; Alimentary canal without Branchial gill slits, Pronephros (embryonic), 2-chambered heart; closed Monoecious, gonad, no duct Dorsal tubular nerve cord
Anus derived from blastopore, mouth a new for-ma-- Cephalaspidomorphi (corium), glands cartilaginous cranium jaws or distinct stomach gills mesonephros system; hepatic portal and brain; cranial and
and neural arches (opisthonephros) in adult spinal nerves
tion; cleavage mostly radial; all deuterostomes are
eucoelomate; in nonchordates, endomesoderm arises Stratified epidermis, Persistent notochord; Alimentary canal without Branchial gill slits, Pronephros, mesonephros 2-chambered heart with Monoecious, gonad, no duct Dorsal tubular nerve cord Special sense organs of
from pouches from primitive gut (enterocoelous); in Myxini dermis, glands fibrous cranium; jaws or stomach gills atrium and ventricle; and brain; cranial and taste, smell, and hearing;
cartilaginous pharyngo- accessory hearts; closed spinal nerves degenerate eyes; lateral-
chordates, endomesoderm arises from splitting of me-- skeleton system; hepatic portal line; elcectroreceptors

Anus sodermal bands (schizocoelous) Simple epidermis, cuticle Notochord, connective Muscles (myotomes), cilia Endostyle; Branchial gill slits Many nephridia (solenocyte No heart; dorsal and ventral Dioecious; gonads, no ducts Dorsal tubular nerve cord, Cerebral eye, epidermal
tissue type) aorta, hepatic portal; closed spinal nerves sensory cells
Cephalochordata alimentary canal;
pharynx system
* The width of these bars suggests the relative number Outer cellulose tunic or Notochord, connective Muscles, cilia Endostyle; alimentary Branchial gill slits Body surface; nephrocytes Tubular heart; open sinus Monoecious; gonads, ducts; Dorsal tubular ganglion Ocelli, sensory cells,
of species in each group.
gelatinous covering; mantle tissue canal; pharynx store wastes in excretory channels sexual and asexual in some (larva), nerves (adult) statocysts (chiefly in larva)
Tunicata of epidermis and dermis vesicles

Ciliated epidermis, Alimentary canal, Papulae (dermal Body surface, Mostly dioecious; Nerve ring, radial Eye spots, sensory
Asteroidea thin cuticle eversible stomach branchiae);
pyloric ceca
gonads (usually 10);
asexual by fission in
nerves, and
subepidermal plexus
cells in epidermis


Syncytial epidermis in Alimentary canal, Bursae Bursae, Mostly dioecious; Nerve ring, Sensory cells in
most; little ciliation no anus coelomocytes gonads, bursal ducts; radial nerves epithelium
Ophiuroidea asexual by fission

ECHINODERMATA Ciliated epidermis,
Dermal endoskeleton
with calcareous plates
Circular and longitudinal
muscle fibers, water-
Alimentary canal, Peristomial gills, Coelomocytes carry Mostly dioecious; Circumoral nerve Sensory cells in
Body unsegmented and usually pentamerous (in parts (microscopic in vascular system and podia, Coelomic fluid;
thin cuticle masticatory apparatus podia waste to gills, podia gonads, ducts ring, radial nerves, epithelium,
of 5 each); with secondary radial symmetry;
calcareous endoskeleton of plates or spicules; water Echinoidea Holothuroidea); spines,
connective tissue;
tentacles (in some),
(Aristotles's lantern) and axial gland
hemal and subepidermal plexus especially on podia, spines,
vascular system and podia (tube feet) perihemal systems and pedicellariae
hydrostatic and (in Echinoidea and
hydraulic fluid pressure Asteroidea)

Epidermis, thin Alimentary canal, Respiratory tree, Coelomocytes and Dioecious; monoecious Nerve ring, radial Statocysts, sensory
cuticle retractile oral podia, skin respiratory tree (few); single gonad, nerves, and cells in epidermis
Holothuroidea tentacles duct subepidermal plexus and podia

Syncytial epidermis, Alimentary canal Body surface, Coelomocytes Dioecious; indefinite Oral, hyponeural, Sensory cells and free
thin cuticle especially the podia gonads and aboral systems nerve endings in
Crinoidea of rings, radial nerves epidermis and podia

Foregut, midgut, Tracheae Malpighian tubules Compound and simple

Nematomorpha hindgut eyes, antennae,
tympanic organs,
Insecta hair sensillae,
sensory pits

Kinorhyncha Alimentary canal Tracheae Malpighian tubules Eyes, antennae

Alimentary canal Tracheae Malpighian tubules Simple eyes,

Tardigrada Chilopoda
Open system
Connective tissue, Cerebral ganglia,
Striated muscles, of heart, Dioecious (most);

Epidermis, molting
chitinous cuticle
hydrostatic and
hydraulic fluid
appendages Alimentary canal,
gastric mill
Branchiae (gills),
body surface (in
Antennal or
maxillary glands
gonads, ducts,
copulatory organs
double ventral
nerve cord
with ganglia Compound eyes,
Grow by molting; locomotion not by Body segmented, but somites often modified and specialized;

cilia; common set of homeobox genes

jointed appendages; chitonous cuticle; no cilia Crustacea some) antennules,
* To represent the Arthropoda accurately would require 280 units

Foregut, midgut, Tracheae, book lungs, Malpighian tubules, Simple eyes,

Pentastomida hindgut, gills coxal glands sensory hairs,
Arachnida stomach with ceca pedipalps,
no antennae

Alimentary canal Book gills, Four pairs coxal Simple eyes,
with crop, gizzard, body surface glands sensory hairs,

Protozoan Merostomata and stomach pedipalps,

no antennae
Groups Nematoda Epidermis cellular or Hydrostatic pressure Longitudinal muscle Mouth, triradiate pharynx, Body surface Canals or renette cells, Body fluid with Dioecious (most); gonads, Circumenteric ring, Sensory papillae,
syncytial, cuticle many- fibers of fibrillar and intestine, anus or no flame cells fixed cells ducts, copulatory organs dorsal and ventral bristles,
Unicellular; singly or in co-l-- Vermiform, cylindrical, no circular muscles, microscopic to
1 m, free-living and parasitic layered protoplasmic zones cloaca and spicules nerve cords chemoreceptors
o-nies; cytoplasmic level of (amphids and phasmids)

organization; with dif-fer--

en-tiated organelles Rotifera Syncytial epidermis,
cuticle, lorica (in some)
Hydrostatic pressure
of body fluid
Muscle layers, retractor
muscles, smooth and
Mouth, mastax with trophi,
alimentary canal, anus;
Body surface Protonephridia and
Body fluid with
ameboid cells
Dioecious; gonads,
ducts, copulatory
Cerebral ganglia,
Ocelli, ciliated pits,
sensory bristles,
Cylindrical, ciliated corona; pharynx with mastax; mostly

striated muscles; ciliated feeding currents organs dorsal antennae
microscopic corona created by corona

Epidermis, Muscles, arms, Alimentary canal, Gills Branchial and systemic Dioecious; gonads, Cephalic ring of cerebral, Complex eyes;
Mouth derived from blastocoel, anus is a new for-ma-tion; shell reduced suckers anus, hearts, closed vessels, ducts, "hectocotylus arm" pleural, pedal and visceral statocysts; olfactory,
Spiral cleavage mostly spiral and mosaic; en-dome-so-derm Acanthocephala Cephalopoda pharynx with jaws, capillaries, hemocyanin ganglia and nerves tactile, and
Cleavage radula chemoreceptor cells
derived usually from the “4d” blastomere
Epidermis, Muscles, Alimentary canal, Gills, Heart, arteries, open Dioecious; gonads, Cerebral, visceral, Mantle ocelli, tactile
shell of two muscular foot anus, mantle sinuses, hemoglobin, ducts pedal ganglia and organs, statocysts,
Gnathostomulida Bivalvia calcareous crystalline style, no hemocyanin connectives osphradia, etc.
valves radula
Epidermis, Muscles, Alimentary canal, Gills or lungs, Heart, arteries, open Dioecious; monoecious; Cerebral, buccal, Eyes, osphradia,
Primitive gut calcareous muscular foot anus, mantle sinuses, hemoglobin or gonads, ducts, pedal ganglia and statocysts, tentacles
Entoprocta Gastropoda shell radula, crystalline hemocyanin (in some) copulatory organs nerves
Mesoderm (in most) style (in some)

Epidermis, Connective tissue, Muscles, muscular Alimentary canal, Mantle Paired Sinuses Dioecious; Cerebral, pedal, Subradular organ,
Blastopore Ectoprocta Scaphopoda calcareous
hydrostatic and
hydraulic fluid
foot anus,
gonads, ducts, pleural ganglia and
shell pressure Solenogastres)

Body soft and unsegmented; viscera enclosed by the mantle;
embedded with
foot vestigial
Alimentary canal,
No true gills Sinuses Monoecious Nerve ring,
paired nerves
Scattered nerve
usually external calcareous shell of one or more pieces; ventral Solenogastres spicules or radula absent
muscular foot; radula present (except Bivalvia and Solenogastres) scales

Mouth Epidermis, Muscles, Ciliated alimentary Many paired gills Heart, arteries, Dioecious; monoecious; Nerve ring, "Shell" eyes,
shell of muscular foot canal, anus, open sinuses gonads, ducts four longitudinal osphradia, subradular
Brachiopoda Polyplacophora calcareous radula nerve cords organ, and other
plates sense organs

Epidermis, Muscles, Alimentary canal, anus, 5 or 6 pairs Heart, arteries, Dioecious; Ganglia, Scattered small
limpetlike radula, crystalline style of gills open sinuses gonads, ducts nerve cords receptors
Phoronida Monoplacophora shell
muscular foot

Lophotrochozoa Circular and Mouth with jaws, Body surface Closed system or Monoecious; Ocelli, photoreceptor

Grow by increasing body mass; ciliary Sipuncula Hirudinea longitudinal muscles;

pharynx, crop, with
ceca, intestine
open coelomic
gonads, ducts;
internal fertilization
cells, sensillae, free
nerve endings
locomotion; trochophore larva (often) Cerebral ganglia,
Connective tissue,
hydrostatic and
Circular and Mouth, pharynx, Body surface Segmental Monoecious; connectives, ventral
nerve chain with
Body wormlike and segmented; coelom usually divided by
septa; appendages not jointed
Oligochaeta nonchitinous hydraulic
longitudinal muscles;
stomach (crop, gizzard),
intestine, anus
Closed system (in most)
of dorsal (pumping)
gonads, ducts;
internal fertilization segmental
sensory cells (some
in clusters), free
cuticle fluid pressure ganglia; nerve endings
and ventral aortas, giant axons
connectives, veins,
Circular and Mouth, pharynx with Body surface, tentacles, Dioecious; temporary Simple and complex eyes;
chitinous jaws (in some), gonads, nephridial ducts, statocysts; sensory pits and
Echiura Polychaeta longitudinal muscles;
parapodia, setae stomach, intestine; ciliated
parapodia, gills (in some) respiratory pigments
external fertilization cells on tentacles, palps,
feeding tentacles (in some) and body surface

Nemertea Ciliated epidermis Parenchyma, rhynchocoel

of proboscis; hydrostatic
Outer circular and
inner longitudinal
Mouth, foregut, intestine
with or without
Direct body surface Photonephridia 2 lateral and 1 dorsal
blood vessels,
Dioecious (most);
gonads, ducts
Cerebral ganglia,
longitudinal nerve cords
Ocelli, ciliated pits,
sensory nerve cells
Body wormlike; rhynchocoel with eversible proboscis above
digestive tract; parenchyma or mesenchyme in space between Enopla, Anopla and hydraulic fluid muscles ceca, anus lacunae (lateral and dorsal)
body wall and digestive tract pressure

Tegument syncytial with Muscle layers, Absent; Absent No special organs,

subsurface cell bodies parasitic sensory nerve endings on
Pogonophora Cestoda muscular suckers
scolex and other locations

PLATYHELMINTHES Tegument syncytial with

surface cell bodies
Muscle layers,
muscular suckers
Gastrovascular cavity
of mouth, pharynx,
Gastrovascular cavity Ocelli
(in some)
Body wormlike and flattened dorsoventrally; parenchyma
(connective tissue) in spaces between organs
Trematoda intestine (no anus);
Monoecious and
Cerebral ganglia,
longitudinal nerve
parasitic Direct gonads, ducts,
Parenchyma, cords, and
body Protonephridia copulatory organs;
connective transverse
Tegument syncytial with Muscle layers, Gastrovascular cavity surface Gastrovascular cavity parasitic forms connections Ocelli
subsurface cell bodies muscular suckers have complex (larvae and some adults);
Gastrotricha Monogenea of mouth, pharynx,
intestine (no anus); life cycles
("ladder" type)

Cellular epidermis Muscle layers, Gastrovascular cavity Gastrovascular cavity Ocelli, ciliated
Mesozoa Turbellaria with mucous glands cilia of mouth, pharynx,
intestine (no anus)
pits, epidermal

Placozoa Cellular epidermis Intermediate Flagellated Ventral epithelium serves Direct body No special No special No special General reaction
Body is platelike; no symmetry, no organs, and no muscular with mucous glands layer cylinder cells nutritive function surface structures structures structures of ectoplasm
or nervous system

Epidermis, (perisarc in Mesoglia; hydrostatic Epitheliomuscular cells Gastrovascular cavity, Direct body No special Gastrovascular Monoecious and Epidermis, Epithelial sensory
Cnidaria Hydrozoa, Scyphozoa, some Hydrozoa); epidermis and with contractile fibers intracellular and extra- surface structures, cavity dioecious; gonads, diffuse nerve net cells,

RADIATA Radial or biradial symmetry; with tentacles and nematocysts;

attached polyps and/or free medusae
Cubozoa, Anthozoa
syncytial or cellular in
Scyphozoa; calcareous
skeleton in some Anthozoa
hydraulic fluid pressure;
mesenchymal elements
epidermal and
gastrodermal layers
cellular digestion, gastric
filaments (Scyphozoa),
septal filaments (Anthozoa)
excretory pore
(in some)
no ducts; external
statocysts, ocelli
(in some)

With primary radial or biradial

sym-metry; tissue level of or-ga-ni-za-- Ctenophora Epidermis
Mouth, pharynx,
Direct body
No special
Diffuse nerve net
and plexus
Aboral sense organ,
epidermal cells
tion; with mouth and gastric cavity Biradial symmetry; eight meridional rows of ciliated swimming Tentaculata, Nuda or cellular) connective tissue ciliated comb plates canals ducts (in a few)
plates; adhesive cells (colloblasts); mesenchymal muscles
but no anus
Calcarea spicules

Epidermis of Myocytes; Canal system,
PORIFERA pinacocytes,
flagellated choanocytes,
Direct Amebocytes, No
Scattered sex
cells; Cell: T-cell excitation; General reaction
Asymmetric or radially symmetric; no germ layers; with sometimes choanocytes amebocytes, gonads and
Cellular level of organization; no
pores and canals; spongocoel and osculum; some cavities Hexactinellida syncytial;
permeated with
(collar cells);
some pinacocytes
food vacuoles;
no mouth or
direct body
structures ducts absent;
nerve cells
probably absent
lined with choanocytes dioecious or
pores are contractile digestive tract
or-gans or tissues; body with pores, Siliceous

canals, and chambers

Wall Chart by William C. Ober and Claire Garrison, Medical & Scientific Illustration Demospongiae spicules,
and Cleveland P. Hickman, Jr.
Design by Jim Gibson, Gibson Design Associates