Encyclopedia > Lophophorate

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The Lophophorates are a group of animals united by the presence of a lophophore[?], a fan of cilia surrounding the mouth. They include three phyla - the Brachiopoda, Ectoprocta, and Phoronida - and possibly a fourth, the Entoprocta. The oldest forms are known from the early Cambrian. The exact placement of the lophophorates and even their monophyly remain uncertain. They are sometimes ranked as a superphylum or phylum Lophophorata.

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