Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In Haeckel's system of classification (1896), a phylum of unsegmented, worm-like animals including the Rotifera, Nemathelminthes, Molluscoidea, and Rhynchocœla.
“The amphioxus reveals the great secret of the origin of the vertebrates from the invertebrate vermalia, and in its development and structure connects directly with certain lower tunicates, the ascidia.”
“Of the coelomaria we can distinguish six stems: the vermalia at the bottom represent the common stem-group (derived from the platodes) of these, the other five typical stems of the coelomaria -- the molluscs, echinoderms, articulates, tunicates, and vertebrates -- being evolved from them.”
“All animals in which the body-cavity demonstrably arises in this way from the primitive gut (vertebrates, tunicates, echinoderms, articulates, and a part of the vermalia) were comprised by the”
“Even then the egg was first a gastraea-egg, then a platode-egg, then a vermalia-egg, and chordonia-egg; later still acrania-egg, then fish-egg, amphibia-egg, reptile-egg, and finally bird's egg.”
“These ontogenetic facts are of the greatest importance for the purpose of learning those ancestral forms of the vertebrates which we have to seek in the group of the unarticulated vermalia.”
“The class of the chaetogatha, which is only represented by the cognate genera of Sagitta and Spadella, is in another respect also a most remarkable branch of the extensive vermalia stem.”
“We must assume as the common ancestral group of both stems an extinct family of the extensive vermalia-stem, the Prochordonia or Prochordata ( "primitive chorda-animals").”
“The classification of the Cyemaria is much disputed; sometimes they are held to be parasitic infusoria (like the Opalina), sometimes platodes or vermalia, related to the suctorial worms or rotifers, but having degenerated through parasitism.”
“These processes also take place with characteristic simplicity and clearness, so that they are very instructive to compare with the vermalia on the one hand and with the higher vertebrates on the other.”
“They live parasitically in the body-cavity of echinoderms (Ophiura) and vermalia; they are distinguished by the fact that their primitive gut-cavity is not empty, but filled with entodermic cells, from which the sexual cells are developed.”
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