[Taxacom] Animal Phyla (Catalogue of Life)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sat Jul 18 18:57:46 CDT 2009

Dear All,
     I think that it is a taking a huge step BACKWARDS to continue
listing a bunch of these worm groups (and relatives) as numerous
separate phyla.  Cavalier-Smith (1998) has conveniently gathered them
into two phyla (Nemathelminthes and Acanthognatha).  If you want to use
the name Gnathifera instead of (or as a subclade of?) Acanthognatha, I
see no big problem with that.  But to continue splitting these groups
into a plethora of different phyla just obscures their relationships.
Frankly it is seems rather unfair to your users, as well as to all those
who have worked so hard to elucidate the interrelationships of these
      Phylum Nemathelminthes contains Priapulida, Loricifera,
Kinorhyncha, Nematomorpha, and Nematoda (which I classified as 5
Classes, not 5 phyla, back in 1994). Phylum Acanthognatha contains
Rotifera, Acanthocephala, Gastrotricha, Gnathostomulida, and
Micrognathozoa (although one of those classes, Rotifera, is probably
paraphyletic).  Two Phyla divided into 10 Classes is a whole lot more
informative than 10 separate Phyla.  The interrelationships between
Classes in each of these two phyla can be shown by coding (as I prefer)
or with formally named subphyla (as Thomas Cavalier-Smith prefers).
There may be some uncertainties remaining, but not enough to excuse the
continued splitting of all these taxa into separate phyla.           
         ------Ken Kinman

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