Animal Phyla/Gastrotricha

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Chaetonotus polyspinosus a species of meiofauna.
  • Gastrotricha
  • Name Meaning: Hair stomach
  • English Common Name: Meiofauna, gastrotrichs, hairybacks
  • Two terminal adhesive tubes
  • Approximate number of species described: about 690

Natural History[edit | edit source]

They are aquatic, and occur in fresh and marine waters, though a few live on land, in the liquid that surrounds soil particles. Their habitat is similar in the water, living around the particles on the bottom, or in the material that falls to the bottom.

They eat detritus.

Their lifespans are extremely short, they live only a few days.

Taxonomy[edit | edit source]

The Phylum has been divided into two orders.

  • Order Chaetonotida
  • Order Macrodasyida

Anatomy[edit | edit source]

Worm-like, gastrotrichs have a head region housing a brain and sensory organs, and a trunk with a simple digestive system and reproductive organs.

They have adhesive glands that help them attach to solid surfaces.

The Fossil Record[edit | edit source]

With a size maximum of 3 mm (0.118 in), and being soft bodied, they're unlikely to have fossilized and no fossils are known.

Quiz[edit | edit source]

References and Further Reading[edit | edit source]