Basal animal clade as a sister group of the Porifera / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Eumetazoa (from Ancient Greek εὖ (eû) 'well', μετά (metá) 'after', and ζῷον (zôion) 'animal'), also known as diploblasts, Epitheliozoa, or Histozoa, are a proposed basal animal clade as a sister group of the Porifera (sponges). The basal eumetazoan clades are the Ctenophora and the ParaHoxozoa. Placozoa is now also seen as a eumetazoan in the ParaHoxozoa.
|Diversity of eumetazoans|
Several other extinct or obscure life forms, such as Iotuba and Thectardis, appear to have emerged in the group. Characteristics of eumetazoans include true tissues organized into germ layers, the presence of neurons and muscles, and an embryo that goes through a gastrula stage.
Some phylogenists once speculated the sponges and eumetazoans evolved separately from different single-celled organisms, which would have meant that the animal kingdom does not form a clade (a complete grouping of all organisms descended from a common ancestor). However, genetic studies and some morphological characteristics, like the common presence of choanocytes, now unanimously support a common origin.
Traditionally, eumetazoans are a major group of animals in the Five Kingdoms classification of Lynn Margulis and K. V. Schwartz, comprising the Radiata and Bilateria – all animals except the sponges. When treated as a formal taxon Eumetazoa is typically ranked as a subkingdom. The name Metazoa has also been used to refer to this group, but more often refers to the Animalia as a whole. Many classification schemes do not include a subkingdom Eumetazoa.