Hartman, Olga Allan Hancock Foundation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.
Conway Morris, Simon Department of Earth Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- General Characteristics
- Sense organs
- Digestive system
- Nervous system
- Circulatory system
- Excretory system
- Muscular system
- Oligochaetes and leeches
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The phylum comprising the multisegmented, invertebrate wormlike animals, of which the most numerous are the marine bristle worms and the most familiar the terrestrial earthworms. The Annelida (meaning little annuli or rings) include the Polychaeta (meaning many setae); the earthworms and freshwater worms, or Oligochaeta (meaning few setae); the marine and freshwater Hirudinea or leeches; and two other marine classes having affinities with the Polychaeta: the Archiannelida (meaning primitive annelids) are small heteromorphic marine worms, and the Myzostomaria (meaning sucker mouths) are parasites of crinoid echinoderms. See also: Hirudinida; Myzostomida; Oligochaeta; Polychaeta
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