, Volume 305, Issue 1–3, pp 21–26 | Cite as

The basic organization of the Plathelminthes

  • Ulrich Ehlers
Taxonomy and phylogeny


The basic organization of the Plathelminthes is summarized. Special attention is given to epidermal structures, musculature, extracellular matrices, nervous system and sensory structures, digestive system, totipotent stem cells, protonephridia, reproductive system and life cycle. The latest common ancestor of the Plathelminthes lacked any ‘parenchymal’ cells and tissues; Plathelminthes do not represent ‘Parenchymia’. Discussions concerning the relationships of the Plathelminthes with other Metazoa must be based on the characteristics of the plathelminth stem species.

Key words

basic organization stem species phylogenetics Plathelminthes Platyhelminthes 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Ehlers
    • 1
  1. 1.II. Zoologisches Institut und Museum der Universität GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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