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Re: a lot of fog (halkieriids)




I suppose Conway Morris' idea is sort of appealing in a "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" sort of way. About 6-7 years ago, I spent several months (in my spare time) reviewing the pertinent literature, and concluded this was a case of brachiopod larval characteristics being paedomorphically held over into the halkieriid adult stage.
The notion that sessile polychaetes evolved from free living forms is likewise uncertain. And the whole broader issue of what constitutes a holophyletic Annelida is still in a state of flux. Until that is resolved, the whole "Articulata" controversy will continue (and what most people don't realize is that some annelids moult as well, and the evolution of moulting was probably a very long complex process). And some of these controversies over invertebrate relationships have a history that even longer than those in dinosaur science, and if you think dinosaur research funds are tight, it's far tighter for non-arthropod invertebrates.
---Well, back to the Olympics,
Ken



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