Temporal range: Ediacaran - Present, 635–0 Ma
|Diversity of eumetazoans|
Eumetazoa (Greek: εὖ [eu], well + μετά [metá], after + ζῷον [zóon], animal) or Diploblasts are a proposed basal animal clade as sister group of the sponges. Several other extinct or obscure life forms, such as Iotuba and Thectardis as well as Placozoans appear to have emerged in the group. Characteristics of eumetazoans include true tissues organized into germ layers, the presence of neurons, and an embryo that goes through a gastrula stage. The clade is usually held to contain at least Ctenophora, Placozoans, Cnidaria, and Bilateria.
Some phylogenists have speculated the sponges and eumetazoans evolved separately from single-celled organisms, which would mean 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, support a common origin.
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.
The current widely accepted hypothesis, based on molecular data (mostly 18S rRNA sequences), divides Bilateria into the following four superphylums: Deuterostomia, Ecdysozoa, Lophotrochozoa, and Platyzoa (sometimes included in Lophotrochozoa). The last three groups are also collectively known as Protostomia.
However, many skeptics emphasize the pitfalls and inconsistencies associated with the new data. Claus Nielsen, a professor of evolutionary invertebrate embryology at the Zoological Museum University of Copenhagen champions one of the most prominent alternative views based on morphological evidence. In his 2001 book Animal Evolution: Interrelationships of the Living Phyla, he maintains the traditional divisions of Protostomia and Deuterostomia.
It has been suggested that one type of molecular clock and one approach to interpretation of the fossil record both place the evolutionary origins of eumetazoa in the Ediacaran. However, the earliest eumetazoans may not have left a clear impact on the fossil record and other interpretations of molecular clocks suggest the possibility of an earlier origin. The discoverers of Vernanimalcula describe it as the fossil of a bilateral triploblastic animal that appeared at the end of the Marinoan glaciation prior to the Ediacaran Period, implying an even earlier origin for eumetazoans.
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- Martindale, Mark Q.; Kourakis, Matthew J. "Hox clusters: Size doesn't matter". Nature. 399 (6738): 730–731. doi:10.1038/21530.
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- Systema Naturae 2000 Taxon: Subkingdom Eumetazoa — retrieved February 2, 2006
- Peterson KJ, Butterfield NJ (July 2005). "Origin of the Eumetazoa: testing ecological predictions of molecular clocks against the Proterozoic fossil record". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102 (27): 9547–52. Bibcode:2005PNAS..102.9547P. PMC . PMID 15983372. doi:10.1073/pnas.0503660102.
- Blair, J. E.; Hedges, S. B. (March 2005). "Molecular clocks do not support the Cambrian explosion". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 22 (3): 387–390. PMID 15537810. doi:10.1093/molbev/msi039.
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|Wikispecies has information related to: Eumetazoa|
- Bilateria. Tree of Life web project, US National Science Foundation. 2002. 6 January 2006.
- Invertebrates and the Origin of Animal Diversity
- Evers, Christine A., Lisa Starr. Biology:Concepts and Applications. 6th ed. United States:Thomson, 2006. ISBN 0-534-46224-3.
- TRICHOPLAX ADHAERENS (PLACOZOA TYPE) St. Petersburg. 2005
- Metazoa: the Animals
- Nielsen, C. 2001. Animal Evolution: Interrelationships of the Living Phyla, 2nd edition, 563 pp. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-850681-3
- Borchiellini, C. Manuel, M., Alivon, E., Boury-Esnault N., Vacelet, J., Le-Parco, Y. 2001. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 14 (1): 171–179.
- Peterson, Kevin J., McPeek, Mark A., & Evans, David A.D. 2005. Tempo & mode of early animal evolution: inferences from rocks, Hox, & molecular clocks. Paleobiology 31(2, Supplement): 36–55.