Evolution of the Ecdysozoa

The „Ecdysozoa“ or molting animals are a superphylum of the Protostomia, which has not been proposed by any morphology-based investigation in the past, but is now fully supported by molecular biological analyses. In the last ten years, morphologists failed to explain the evolution of the Ecdysozoa, or could only offer vague partial explanations (e.g. priapulid- or kinorhynch-like forms as putative precursors of the Panarthropoda). In our institute, an evolutionary model for the Ecdysozoa has been offered, according to which a polysegmented, polychaete-like form gave rise to molting „aschelminth“-forms and the Panarthropoda. Currently, this background model is detailed for every ecdysozoan line.

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