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Animal Kingdom
Porifera, Radiata and basal Bilateral
Author : bindu
Category : Animal Kingdom
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Animal Kingdom,Porifera, Radiata and basal Bilateral,

Porifera, Radiata and basal Bilateral

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The sponges (Porifera) were long thought to have diverged from other animals early. They lack the complex organization found in most other phyla. Their cells are differentiated, but in most cases not organized into distinct tissues. Sponges typically feed by drawing in water through pores. Archaeocyatha, which have fused skeletons, may represent sponges or a separate phylum. However, a phylogenomic study in 2008 of 150 genes in 21 genera  revealed that it is the Ctenophora or comb jellies which are the basal lineage of animals, at least among those 21 genera. The authors speculate that sponges—or at least those lines of sponges they investigated—are not so primitive, but may instead be secondarily simplified.

Among the other phyla, the Ctenophora and the Cnidaria, which includes sea anemones, corals, and jellyfish, are radially symmetric and have digestive chambers with a single opening, which serves as both the mouth and the anus. Both have distinct tissues, but they are not organized into organs. There are only two main germ layers, the ectoderm and endoderm, with only scattered cells between them. As such, these animals are sometimes called diploblastic. The tiny placozoans are similar, but they do not have a permanent digestive chamber.

The remaining animals form a monophyletic group called the Bilateria. For the most part, they are bilaterally symmetric, and often have a specialized head with feeding and sensory organs. The body is triploblastic, i.e. all three germ layers are well-developed, and tissues form distinct organs. The digestive chamber has two openings, a mouth and an anus, and there is also an internal body cavity called a coelom or pseudocoelom. There are exceptions to each of these characteristics, however — for instance adult echinoderms are radially symmetric, and certain parasitic worms have extremely simplified body structures.


 

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