Priapulida

Abstract

Priapulida is a very small phylum of free‐living worms that inhabit marine sediments from the littoral zone to abyssal waters. The phylum name (Greek, priapus, phallus), given by Lamarck in 1816, comes from the fact that these worms resemble a small penis.

Keywords: benthic; marine worm; cuticle; moult; introvert; scalids; burrowing

Figure 1.

External anatomy of priapulids. (a) Adult Priapulus caudatus. (b) Larval stage of a priapulid. Reproduced from Calloway CB (1982) Priapulida. In: Parker SP (ed.) Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms, vol. 1. New York: McGraw‐Hill. Copyright © 1982 The McGraw‐Hill Companies.

Figure 2.

Generalized longitudinal section of a priapulid. Modified from Kozloff EN (1990) Invertebrates. Copyright © 1990 by Saunders College Publishing, reproduced by permission of the publisher.

Figure 3.

Ottoia, an abundant priapulid of the Burgess Shale Fauna. a, Fossil; b, artist interpretation. Reproduced from Briggs DEG et al. (1994) The Fossils of the Burgess Shale. Washington: Smithsonian Institute Press. Photographs by Clark C.

close

Further Reading

Briggs DEG, Erwin DH and Collier FJ (1994) The Fossils of the Burgess Shale. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Calloway CB (1982) Priapulida. In: Parker SP (ed.) Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms, vol. 1. New York: McGraw‐Hill.

Gould SJ (1989) In touch with Walcott. Natural History 1990/7: 10–19.

Hammond RA (1970) The surface of Priapulus caudatus (Lamark, 1816). Zeitschrift für Morphology der Tiere 68: 255–268.

Hammond RA (1970) The burrowing of Priapulus caudatus. Journal of Zoology, London 162: 469–480.

Hammond RA (1980) The hydraulic system in a burrowing worm, Priapulus caudatus. Journal of Zoology, London 192: 489–499.

Morse MP (1981) Meiopriapulus fijiensis n. gen., n. sp.: an interstitial priapulid from course sand in Fiji. Transactions of the American Microscopy Society 100: 239–252.

Por FD and Bromley HJ (1974) Morphology and anatomy of Maccabeus tentaculatus. Journal of Zoology 173: 173–197.

Ruppert EE (1991) Introduction to the aschelminth phyla: a consideration of mesoderm, body cavities, and cuticle. In: Harrison FW and Ruppert EE (eds) Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates, vol. 4, pp 1–17. New York: Wiley‐Liss.

Stachowitsch M (1992) The Invertebrates: an Illustrated Glossary. New York: Wiley‐Liss.

Storch V (1991) Priapulida. In: Harrison FW and Ruppert EE (eds) Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates. New York: Wiley‐Liss.

Ruppert EE and Barnes RD (1994) Invertebrate Zoology, 6th edn. Forth Worth: Harcourt Brace.

Whittington HB (1971) The Burgess Shale: history of research and preservation of fossils. Proceedings of the North American Paleontological Convention 1: 1170–1201.

Whittington HB (1985) The Burgess Shale. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Wallace, Robert Lee(Jan 2002) Priapulida. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001592]