Carpenter, "Notes on Echinoderm Morphology," Quart.
This creature displays an almost unexampled frequency and extent of distribution in the whole North Sea, in the western parts of the Baltic, near the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and the English coasts, so that it may be regarded as a characteristic North Sea echinoderm form.
Eschscholtz at the Marshall Islands in 1825, Balanoglossus was described as a worm-like animal belonging to the Echinoderm order of Holothurians or sea-cucumbers.
The problem of the interrelations of the classes will thus be reduced to its simplest terms, and even questions as to the nature of the primitive Echinoderm and its affinity to the ancestors of other phyla may become more than exercises for the ingenuity of youth.
This echinoderm is a simultaneous hermaphrodite (male gonads and mature eggs occurring together ).
Mucronalia, foot reduced, but still operculate, eyes present, animal fixed by its very long proboscis which is deeply buried in the tissues of an Echinoderm, no pseudopallium.
The theory has been vigorously opposed, notably by Semon (op. cit.), who saw in the holothurians a nearer approach to the ancestral form than was furnished by any calyculate echinoderm, and by the Sarasins, who derived the echinoids from the holothurians through forms with flexible tests (Echinothuridae, which, however, are now known to be specialized in this respect).
- The rejection of the calycinal and Pentactaea theories need not scatter our conceptions of Echinoderm structure back into the chaos from which they seemed to have emerged.
In some of these respects the Dipleurula may have diverged from the ancestor of Enteropneusta and of other animals, but it could not as yet have been recognized as echinodermal by a zoologist, for it presented none of the structural peculiarities of the modern adult echinoderm.
The remaining family may, till further knowledge, be allowed to, cover four remarkable species, three of them resident on Anthozoa, one on an echinoderm.
Thus the genera exhibiting it were regarded as primitive, and those orders and classes in which it was least obscured were supposed to approach most nearly the ancestral Echinoderm.
Accepting the homology of these apical systems with the calycinal system, the theory would regard the aboral pole of a sea-urchin or starfish as corresponding in everything, except its relations to the sea-floor, with the aboral pole of a fixed echinoderm.
Marchal points out the analogy of this phenomenon to the artificial polyembryony that has been induced in Echinoderm and other eggs by separating the blastomeres, and suggests that the abundant food-supply afforded by the host-larva is favourable for this multiplication of embryos, which may be, in the first instance, incited by the abnormal osmotic pressure on the egg.
How the hypothetical Dipleurula became an Echinoderm, and how the primitive Echinoderms diverged in structure so as to form the various classes, are questions to which an answer is attempted in the following paragraphs: - Confining our attention to that form of Dipleurula (fig.
Known Echinoderms show the following features, imagined to be due to an ancestral pelmatozoic stage :- Increase in the coelomic cavities of the left side, and atrophy of those on the right; the dextral coil of the gut, recognizable in all classes, though often obscured; an incomplete secondary bilateralism about the plane including the main axis and the water-pore or its successor, the madreporite, often obscured by one or other of various tertiary bilateralisms; the change of the hydrocoel into a circumoral, arcuate or ring canal; development through a freeswimming, bilaterally symmetrical, ciliated larva, of which in many cases only a portion is transformed into the adult Echinoderm (where care of the brood has secondarily arisen, this larva is not developed).
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