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The early evolution of the Echinozoa


, : The early evolution of the Echinozoa. Breviora Mus Comp Zool [Harvard] 219: 1-17

Morphology of fossil and extant Echinodermata implies that pelmatozoan and eleutherozoan characters have arisen independently in the various classes. Patterns of growth provide a means of distinguishing 4 subphyla, named Homalozoa, Echinozoa, Crinozoa and Asterozoa. At least 3 of these subphyla include pelmatozoan and eleutherozoan stocks, which are regarded as arising as simple habit responses to habitat. Edrioasteroidea are interpreted as members of the Echinozoa, and are removed therefore from their conventionally accepted position among the so-called Pelmatozoa. The latter assemblage, after removal of the Edrioasteroidea, is redefined under the name Crinozoa. The so-called calcareous ring of holothurians is interpreted as the homologue of the ambulacral plating system of edrioasteroids, telescoped within the body, following the evolution of the introvert.

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