Tyler, Seth Department of Zoology, University of Maine, Orono, Maine.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Habitat and behavior
- Related Primary Literature
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A group of small, soft-bodied, ciliated worms with the form (“morph”) of acoel turbellarians. The Acoelomorpha is now ranked as a phylum, distinct from other turbellarian worms of the phylum Platyhelminthes. Its relation to other animals, however, remains controversial despite many efforts to resolve that relation using genomic data. The most recent classification places the Acoelomorpha in the Deuterostomia, close to echinoderms and acorn worms. Other genomic studies place it as the most basal (primitive) of all animals with bilateral symmetry. Still other systematists argue for its retention in the Platyhelminthes on the basis of both molecular and morphological characters. See also: Animal symmetry; Deuterostomia; Platyhelminthes; Turbellaria; Xenoturbellida
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