Pilger, John F. Department of Biology, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia.
Rice, Mary E. Division of Worms, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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A small group of unsegmented, wormlike, marine animals once linked with the Sipuncula and Priapulida under the taxon Gephyrea. Since 1940, echiurans have been regarded as a separate phylum of the animal kingdom with affinities to the segmented annelid worms. They range from the tropical to the polar seas, burrowing in sea-floor sediments from the intertidal area to depths of 30,000 ft (9140 m). See also: Annelida; Priapulida; Sipuncula
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