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In turn, the postcranial remains indicate that Pierolapithecus possessed a modern-hominoid-like, orthograde bodyplan (Moya-Sola et al.
Recent research in my lab has demonstrated the existence of a new phylum of animals with a unique bodyplan - the Xenacoelomorpha - whose evolutionary origins are particularly surprising and highly contentious.
Complicated evolution of the Caprellid (Crustacea: Malacostraca: Peracarida: Amphipoda) bodyplan, reacquisition or multiple losses of the thoracic limbs and pleons.
are among the smallest existing free-living metazoans, yet they exhibit an amazingly complex bodyplan.
For a metazoan species, the absolute number of cells and the number of cell types present is usually thought to indicate the complexity of its bodyplan (1).
Although only about 30-40 [micro]m in size, these males show a sophisticated bodyplan that includes a highly complex musculature (Fig.
Relating given bodyplan features to the absolute number of somatic cells in a species, we find that the cycliophoran dwarf male shows by far the most sophisticated bodyplan of any animal with a comparably low number of cells.
Lophotrochozoan invertebrate animals--that is, taxa that commonly have a ciliated larval stage with an anteriorly placed apical organ and one pair of protonephridia as part of their life cycle--exhibit an overwhelming diversity of adult bodyplan phenotypes.
Since adult morphologies alone fail to explain lophotrochozoan bodyplan diversity, investigators are currently increasingly focusing on comparative analyses of embryonic and larval stages, using state-of-the-art tools such as confocal laserscanning microscopy and 3D reconstruction software (e.
Accordingly, the processes underlying the often dramatic bodyplan changes involved in the metamorphosis of the larva into the juvenile can be documented in great detail (Hessling, 2002, 2003; Hessling and Westheide, 2002; Wanninger 2007, 2008; Wanninger et al.
They plotted cell types for modern species against time of origin for their bodyplans [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED], using only modern species that are thought to be primitive representatives of their bodyplans.
More counts, revealing distributions within bodyplans, might help to reduce the uncertainties.
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