name = Eumetazoa
fossil_range = Ediacaran - Recent

image_width = 250px
image_caption = A lancelet
domain = Eukaryota
regnum = Animalia
subregnum = Eumetazoa
subregnum_authority = Butschli, 1910
subdivision_ranks = Phyla
subdivision =
*Placozoa"Radiata (unranked)"
* Ctenophora
* Cnidaria"Bilateria (unranked)"
* Orthonectida
* Rhombozoa
* Acoelomorpha
* Chaetognatha
* Superphylum Deuterostomia
** Chordata
** Hemichordata
** Echinodermata
** Xenoturbellida
** Vetulicolia
* "Protostomia (unranked)"
** Superphylum Ecdysozoa
*** Kinorhyncha
*** Loricifera
*** Priapulida
*** Nematoda
*** Nematomorpha
*** Lobopodia
*** Onychophora
*** Tardigrada
*** Arthropoda
** Superphylum Platyzoa
*** Platyhelminthes
*** Gastrotricha
*** Rotifera
*** Acanthocephala
*** Gnathostomulida
*** Micrognathozoa
*** Cycliophora
** Superphylum Lophotrochozoa
*** Sipuncula
*** Hyolitha
*** Nemertea
*** Phoronida
*** Bryozoa
*** Entoprocta
*** Brachiopoda
*** Mollusca
*** Annelida
*** Echiura

Eumetazoa is a clade comprising all major animal groups except sponges. Characteristics of eumetazoans include true tissues organized into germ layers, and an embryo that goes through a gastrula stage. The clade is usually held to contain at least Ctenophora, Cnidaria, and Bilateria. Whether mesozoans and placozoans belong is in dispute.

Some phylogenists have speculated the sponges and eumetazoans evolved separately from single-celled organisms, which would mean that the animal kingdom does not form a clade (a complete grouping of organisms descended from a common ancestor). However, genetic studies and some morphological characteristics, like the common presence of choanocytes, support a common origin.

Eumetazoans are a major group of animals in the "Five Kingdoms" classification of Lynn Margulis and K. V. Schwartz, comprising the Radiata and Bilateria - all animals except the sponges, placozoans and mesozoans. [ [ Systema Naturae 2000 Taxon: Subkingdom Eumetazoa] - retrieved February 22006] When treated as a formal taxon Eumetazoa is typically ranked as a subkingdom. The name Metazoa has also been used to refer to this group, but more often refers to the Animalia as a whole. Many classification schemes do not include a subkingdom Eumetazoa.


Over the last decade, the work of developmental biologists and molecular phylogeneticists spawned new ideas about bilaterian relationships resulting in a paradigm shift.

The current widely accepted hypothesis, based on molecular data (mostly 18S rRNA sequences), divides bilateria into the following four groups: Deuterostomia, Ecdysozoa, Lophotrochozoa, and Platyzoa (sometimes included in Lophotrochozoa). The last three groups are also collectively known as Protostomia. [ [ Protostomia] ]

However, many skeptics emphasize the pitfalls and inconsistencies associated with the new data. Claus Nielsen, a professor of evolutionary invertebrate embryology at the
Zoological Museum University of Copenhagen champions one of the most prominent alternative views based on evidence. In his 2001 book "Animal Evolution: Interrelationships of the Living Phyla", he maintains the traditional divisions of Protostomia and Deuterostomia.

Evolutionary origins

It has been suggested that one type of molecular clock and one approach to interpretation of the fossil record both place the evolutionary origins of eumetazoa in the Ediacaran. [Peterson, Kevin J., and Nicholas J. Butterfield. "Origin of the Eumetazoa: Testing ecological predictions of molecular clocks against the Proterozoic fossil record." "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" 102 (2005): 9547–9552. Full text online: Doi|10.1073/pnas.0503660102.] However, the earliest eumetazoans may not have left a clear impact on the fossil record and other interpretations of molecular clocks suggest the possibility of an earlier origin. [J. E. Blair and S. B. Hedges "Molecular clocks do not support the Cambrian explosion" "Molecular biology and evolution" 22 (2005): 387-390. PMID 15537810.] The discoverers of Vernanimalcula describe it as the fossil of a bilateral triploblastic animal that appeared at the end of the Marinoan glaciation prior to the Ediacaran Period, implying an even earlier origin for eumetazoans. [Chen, J.-Y., Bottjer, D.J., Oliveri, P., Dornbos, S.Q., Gao, F., Ruffins, S., Chi, H., Li, C.-W. and Davidson, E.H. 2004. Small bilaterian fossils from 40 to 55 million years before the Cambrian. "Science", 305 (2005): 218-222.]


* [ "Bilateria."] Tree of Life web project, US National Science Foundation. 2002. 6 January 2006.
* [ Invertebrates and the Origin of Animal Diversity]
*Evers, Christine A., Lisa Starr. "Biology:Concepts and Applications." 6th ed. United States:Thomson, 2006. ISBN 0-534-46224-3.
* [ Metazoa: the Animals]
*Nielsen, C. 2001. Animal Evolution: Interrelationships of the Living Phyla, 2nd edition, 563 pp. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-850681-3
* Borchiellini, C. Manuel, M., Alivon, E., Boury-Esnault N., Vacelet, J., Le-Parco, Y. 2001. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 14 (1): 171-179.
* Peterson, Kevin J., McPeek, Mark A., & Evans, David A.D. 2005. Tempo & mode of early animal evolution: inferences from rocks, Hox, & molecular clocks. Paleobiology 31(2, Supplement): 36-55.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eumetazoa — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Eumetazoa Nephila inaurata, un arácnido …   Wikipedia Español

  • Eumetazoa — Eumetazoa,   Histozoa, Gewebetiere, die vielzelligen Tiere (Metazoa) mit Ausnahme der Schwämme und der Mesozoa …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Eumetazoa — Eumétazoaires …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eumetazoa — Gewebetiere Gewebetiere (Eumetazoa) Systematik Klassifikation: Lebewesen Domäne …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Eumetazoa — …   Википедия

  • Eumetazoa — /yooh met euh zoh euh/, n. the major division, or subkingdom, of Animalia comprising the eumetazoans. [ < NL; see EU , METAZOA] * * * …   Universalium

  • Eumetazoa — Ctenophora Cnidaria Placozoa Subreino Bilateria Acoelomorpha Orthonectida Rhombozoa Myxozoa Superfilo Deuterostomia Chordata Hemichordata Echinodermata Chaetognatha Superfilo Ecdysozoa Kinorhyncha …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • eumetazoa — eu·metazoa …   English syllables

  • eumetazoa — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Eumétazoaire — Eumetazoa Eumétazoaires …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.