PHYLUM LORICIFERA (Lorica, clothed in armor + ferro, to bear)

PHYLUM LORICIFERA (Lorica, clothed in armor + ferro, to bear)

The phylum Loricifera is a recently described animal phylum. Zoologists have described !about 14 species of Loriciferans. Its first members were identified and named in 1983. Loriciferans live in spaces between marine gravel (sand + silt). A characteristic species is Name/oricits mysticav. It is a small, bilaterally symmetrical worm. It has a spiny head called introvert, a thorax and an abdomen. Abdomen is surrounded by a lorica. Loricilerans can retract both introvert and thorax into the anterior end of the lorica. The introvert contains eight oral styles that surround the mouth. The lorical cuticle is periodically molted. A pseudocoelom is present. It contains a short digestive system, brain, and several ganglia. Loriciferans are dioecious with paired gonads.


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