Animal Phyla/Gnathostomulida

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Gnathostomula paradoxa, a jaw worm.

Gnathostomulida Name Meaning: Jaw orifice English Common Name: Jaw worms Major distinguishing characteristics: Approximate number of species described: about 300

Natural History[edit]

Jaw worms are all aquatic and marine. They live in the sand and mud in shallow coastal waters.

Taxonomy[edit]

There are two recognized orders within the Phylum Gnathostomulida.

  • Filospermoidea
  • Bursovaginoidea

Anatomy[edit]

The powerfully jawed mouth is just behind the head end and opens into a blind-ending tube. There is no anus. They have no circulatory or respiratory system.

They are hermaphroditic, with one ovary and two testes.

The Fossil Record[edit]

There is no known fossil record.

Quiz[edit]

References and Further Reading[edit]