Fell, Howard B. Formerly, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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A division of the Echinodermata made up of those forms which are anchored to the substrate during at least a part of the life history. Formerly treated as a formal unit of classification with the rank of subphylum, pelmatozoans are now realized to be a heterogeneous assemblage of forms with similar habits but dissimilar ancestry, their common features having arisen by convergent evolution. Most pelmatozoan echinoderms are members of the subphylum Crinozoa, but some echinozoans also exhibit a sedentary, anchored life, with modifications for such existence. See also: Echinodermata; Echinozoa; Eleutherozoa
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