Animal Phyla/Micrognathozoa

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Limnonathia, drawing, a Micrognathozoan.
  • Micrognathozoa (sometimes called Phylum Gnathifera)
  • Name Meaning: Tiny jaw animals
  • English Common Name: Micrognathozoans
  • Major distinguishing characteristics: Accordion like extensible thorax
  • Approximate number of species described: 1

Natural History[edit | edit source]

Micrognathozoa are one of the smallest animals, averaging one-tenth of a millimeter (0.004 inches) long.

Its main diet is bacteria, blue-green algae and diatoms. L. maerski has a large ganglion, or 'brain', in its head, and paired nerve cords

Taxonomy[edit | edit source]

One species is known. It's classification is:

  • Class Micrognathozoa
  • Order Limnognathida
  • Family Limnognathiidae
  • species Limnognathia maerski

Anatomy[edit | edit source]

They have very complicated jaws, the parts connected by ligaments and muscles. They can extend part of the jaw outside the mouth to eat or regurgitate indigestible items.

It's possible that Micrognathans hatch as males and become female as they grow.

The Fossil Record[edit | edit source]

There is no known fossil record.

Quiz[edit | edit source]

References and Further Reading[edit | edit source]