Animal Phyla

Application:

•  Recognition features of porifera, cnidaria, platyhelmintha, annelida, mollusca, arthropoda and chordata

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The kingdom Animalia can be sub-divided into two main groups – invertebrates (no backbone) and vertebrates (most chordata)

  • Examples of invertebrate phyla include porifera, cnidaria, platyhelmintha, annelida, mollusca and arthropoda
  • All vertebrates belong to the phylum chordata – however not all chordata are vertebrates (e.g. invertebrate sea squirts)
  • These phyla can be differentiated according to a few key recognition features


Porifera

  • No body symmetry (asymmetrical)
  • No mouth or anus (have pores to facilitate the circulation of material)
  • May have silica or calcium carbonate based spicules for structural support
  • Examples include sea sponges


Cnidaria

  • Have radial symmetry
  • Have a mouth but no anus (single entrance body cavity)
  • May have tentacles with stinging cells for capturing and disabling prey
  • Examples include jellyfish, sea anemones and coral


Platyhelmintha

  • Have bilateral symmetry
  • Have a mouth but no anus (single entrance body cavity)
  • Have a flattened body shape to increase SA:Vol ratio and may be parasitic
  • Examples include tapeworms and planaria


Annelida

  • Have bilateral symmetry
  • Have a separate mouth and anus
  • Body composed of ringed segments with specialisation of segments
  • Examples include earthworms and leeches


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  • Have bilaterial symmetry
  • Have a separate mouth and anus
  • Body composed of a visceral mass, a muscular foot and a mantle (may produce shell)
  • Examples include snails, slugs, octopi, squid and bivalves (e.g. clams)


Arthropoda

  • Have bilateral symmetry
  • Have a separate mouth and anus
  • Have jointed body sections / appendages and have a hard exoskeleton (chitin)
  • Examples include insects, crustaceans, spiders, scorpions and centipedes


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Chordata

  • Have bilateral symmetry
  • Have a separate mouth and anus
  • Have a notochord and a hollow, dorsal nerve tube for at least some period of their life cycle
  • Examples include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish (also invertebrate sea squirts)


Invertebrate Phyla Recognition Features:


Overview of Invertebrate Phyla


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