The Phylum Cycliophora


Only 1 species: Symbion Pandora
This animal was discovered in 1993 and was so unique it was assinged to an entirely new phylum. It lives on the mouth parts of the Norway lobster Nephrops norwegicus. The organism has a very complex life cycle, with a number of well-defined sessile and free swimming stages with a different morphologies. The largest and best known phase is the feeding stage. At this stage it is 350 um long and is attached by an adhesive disc to the lips of the lobster. It feeds on scraps of the lobster's food using a mouth surrounded by a ring of cilia. It excretes via an anus next to the mouth ring. The feeding stage continually produces inner buds which replace the feeding structures. Both asexual and sexual reproduction can occur.

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