Orders: Polyplacophora, Aplacophora.
In the Chitons or Polyplacophora, on the other hand, the two cavities are separate, and there are independent genital ducts.
The Amphineura are divided into two orders: (1) the Polyplacophora, or Chitons; (2) the Aplacophora, or forms without shells, Neomenia, Chaetoderma and their allies.
- Polyplacophora Each of the eight valves of the shell is made up of two distinct calcareous layers: (a) an outer or upper called the tegmentum, which is visible externally; (b) a deeper layer called articula FIG.
- Ventral aspect of three species of Polyplacophora showing position of gills.
The digestive tube in the Polyplacophora, which are herbivorous, is longer than the body, and thrown into a few coils, the anus being median and posterior.
The chief points in which the Aplacophora differ from the Polyplacophora are: (1) they are worm-like in shape; (2) there is no distinct foot, and the mantle bears no shell-valves, but only numerous calcareous spicules; (3) the digestive tube is straight.
According to Paul Pelseneer the Polyplacophora are the most archaic, the Aplacophora being specialized in (1) the great reduction of the foot, (2) the disappearance of the shell (Cryptoplax among the Polyplacophora showing both reductions in progress), (3) the disappearance of the radula.
On this view then the Aplacophora are more primitive than the Polyplacophora in the relations of coelom, gonad and coelomoducts; and the genital ducts of the Chitons have arisen either by metameric repetition within the group, or by the gradual loss of an original connexion between the generative sac and the renal tube, as in Lamellibranchs and Gastropods, the generative sac acquiring a separate duct and opening to the exterior on each side.
C. Haddon, "Report on the Polyplacophora," Challenger Reports.