PRIAPULOIDEA, a small group of vermiform marine creatures; they have been usually placed in the neighbourhood of the Gephyrea, but their position is uncertain and it is doubtful if they are to be regarded as coelomate animals.
P. Lamarck's term Annelides, now used to denote a major phylum or division of coelomate invertebrate animals.
The Mollusca agree in being coelomate with the phyla Vertebrata, Platyhelmia (flat-worms), Echinoderma, Appendiculata (insects, ringed-worms, &c.), and others - in fact, with all the Metazoa except the sponges, corals, polyps, and medusae.
On the one hand the Turbellaria are considered to be an offshoot of the early Coelomate stock, on the other they are held to be descendants of a simpler two-layered stock.
This resemblance is considered by Hubrecht (5) to give reason for concluding that the Polyclads are an offshoot, and possibly a degenerate offshoot, from the early Coelomate stock.
Ray Lankester (preface to the English edition of C. Gegenbaur's Comparative Anatomy), and employed by the same writer in the 9th edition of this encyclopaedia (article "Zoology") to denote the eighth phylum, or major division, of coelomate animals.
The conception of the Dipleurula derives its chief weight from the fact that it is comparable to the early larval forms of other primitive coelomate animals, such as Balanoglossus, Phoronis, Chaetognatha, Brachiopoda and Bryozoa.
The evolution of this cavity into a gut is foreshadowed in some Coelentera by the elliptical shape of the aperture, and by the development at its ends of a ciliated channel along which food is swept; we have only to suppose the approximation of the sides of the ellipse and their eventual fusion, to complete the transformation of the radially symmetrical Coelenterate into a bilaterally symmetrical Coelomate with mouth and anus at opposite ends of the long axis.
Regarding the Echinoderms as a whole in the light of the foregoing account, we may give the following analytic summary of the characters that distinguish them from other coelomate animals: They live in salt or brackish water; a primitive bilateral symmetry is still manifest in the right and left divisions of the coelom; the middle coelomic cavities are primitively transformed into two hydrocoels communicating with the exterior indirectly through a duct or ducts of the anterior coelom; stereom, composed of crystalline carbonate of lime, is, with few exceptions, deposited by special amoebocytes in the meshes of a mesodermal stroma, chiefly in the integument; reproductive cells are derived from the endothelium, apparently of the anterior coelom; total segmentation of the ovum produces a coeloblastula and gastrula by invagination; mesenchyme is formed in the segmentation cavity by migration of cells, chiefly from the hypoblast.
The remaining worms are probably all coelomate animals.