Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- An order of Myriapoda established for the reception of the single genus Peripatus. Also called Peripatidea, Malacopoda, and Onychopoda.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Malacopoda.
- n. enigmatic small elongated wormlike terrestrial invertebrates of damp dark habitats in warm regions; distinct from the phylum Annelida; resemble slugs with legs and are sometimes described as the missing link between arthropods and annelids
“Nearly half the phyla of animals occur only in the sea (e.g., the sea stars and other echinoderms), whereas only one (the obscure Onychophora, or velvet worms) is restricted to land.”
“The primitive phylum Onychophora (between worm and insect) is particularly important, with at least five species out of a global total of only 200.”
“Most species of the Onychophora genus Opisthopatus are found in this hotspot; one of two species in the genus, O. roseus (CR), is extremely rare and known only from Ngeli Forest near Kokstad.”
“The hotspot is also home to many species of the phylum Onychophora (velvet worms), a fascinating group of ancient, caterpillar-like animals that are the most primitive group to walk with the body raised up on legs.”
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