Trichoplax adhaerens, copyright Ana Signorovitch.

Belongs within: Opisthokonta.
Contains: Stromatoporoidea, Archaeocyatha, Coleoloidae, Cornulitidae, Homoscleromorpha, Calcispongia, Hexactinellida, Demospongiae, Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Bilateria.

The Animalia are united as ancestrally multicellular and phagotrophic with collagenous connective tissue uniting two dissimilar epithelia (Cavalier-Smith 1998), though some of these features have been lost in derived parasitic forms such as Myxozoa. Relationships of the major subdivisions of animals (Calcispongia, Hyalospongiae, Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Bilateria) remain contentious: classic morphology has favoured a basal, possibly paraphyletic position for sponge-grade taxa (Silicispongea, Calcispongia and Homoscleromorpha) relative to a monophyletic tissue-grade clade (Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Bilateria). Conversely, some recent molecular studies have suggested that sponge-grade animals may be derived from tissue-grade ancestors (e.g. Dunn et al. 2008). Also lacking tissue structure is the small, flat, amorphous marine animal Trichoplax adhaerens, which moves by means of cilia on the cell surfaces and feeds on microscopic algae by lifting the body to form a ventral cavity into which digestive enzymes are released. A sister relationship between the Cnidaria and Bilateria is more generally accepted; the resulting clade has been dubbed the Planulozoa, in reference to the planula-like larvae of some cnidarians and basal bilaterians that may represent an ancestral feature of the clade.

Sponges (Porifera) possess a radially symmetrical or asymmetrical body organised around a system of water-conducting canals and chambers, with flagellate cells capturing food particles from the water as it passes through the chambers. The sponge body is commonly reinforced by spicules, which may be calcareous (Calcarea) or siliceous (Silicispongea). In the Silicispongea, spicules are formed around an intracellularly secreted axial organic filament, and include distinct skeletal megascleres and reinforcing microscleres (Botting & Butterfield 2005). A number of extinct groups such as Stromatoporoidea and Archaeocyatha are generally believed to represent sponge-grade taxa of uncertain relationships to modern species.

The phylogenetic relationships of a number of other fossil animal groups are also unknown. The Salterellidae are a group of Early Cambrian fossils with a conical integument of calcium carbonate, closed at one end, the interior of which is partially filled with grains agglutinated into laminae separated by thin sheets of carbonate (Yochelson & Kisselev 2003). The Suvorovellidae are calcareous fossils from the uppermost Precambrian with double-walled, saucer-shaped or irregularly discoidal skeletons lacking structural elements between the walls (Glaessner 1979).

See also: Is it a sponge, or is it a plant?; More little tubes—not just tons but tonnes; Scleritome week: A mystery ending.

Animalia (see below for synonymy)
    |--Porifera CV16
    |    |  i. s.: Rhabdocnemis Pomel 1872 Z93
    |    |--+--Homoscleromorpha CV16
    |    |  `--Calcispongia CV16
    |    `--Silicispongea [Hyalospongiae, Silicea, Silicispongia] BB05
    |         |--Hexactinellida CV16
    |         `--Demospongiae EL11
    `--+--Ctenophora CV16
       `--+--Trichoplax von Schulze 1883 EL11, AS12 [Placozoa]
          |    `--T. adhaerens C-SC03
          `--Planulozoa BM08
               |--Cnidaria HO09
               `--Bilateria HO09

Animalia incertae sedis:
  Namapoikia Wood, Grotzinger & Dickson 2002 WGD02
    `--*N. rietoogensis Wood, Grotzinger & Dickson 2002 WGD02
  Yaworipora WGD02
  Rosellatana WGD02
  Purella Missarzhevsky 1974 [Purellidae] P02
    `--*P. cristata Missarzhevsky 1974 P02 [incl. P. antiqua (Abaimova 1976) KB09]
  Albinaria coerulea NS03
  Ventogyrus chistyakovi IF02, EL11
  Podolimirus mirus IF02, EL11
  Neotricula aperta LO03
  Uroteuthis noctiluca NN03
  Cleisopus gloriamaris NN03
  Ainiktozoon WB85
  Caveasphaera costata X04
  Megaclonophycus onustus X04
  Sinocyclocyclicus guizhouensis X04
  Spiralicellula bulbifera X04
  Eurytholia Sutton, Holmer & Cherns 2001 SHC01
    |--*E. prattensis Sutton, Holmer & Cherns 2001 SHC01
    `--E. elibata Sutton, Holmer & Cherns 2001 SHC01
  Dimorphoconus granulatus Donovan & Paul 1985 SHC01
  Stromatoporoidea F71
  Dinomischus isolatus CM98
  Jennaria pulchra Rieger 1991 ZHT01
  Amauroceras ferrugineum D01
  Pseudomytiloides dubius BL78
  Parastromatopora HS02
  Gilletia HS02
  Sestromella HS02
  Chaetetopsis HS02
  Ellipsactinia HS02
  Sphaeractinia HS02
  Doryderma HS02
  Elasmoiera HS02
  Poterion neptuni F79
  Microcordyla asteriae BK77
  Stematumenia MK83
    |--S. foetida MK83
    |--S. strobilina MK83
    `--S. variabilis MK83
  Hemectyon ferox MH96
  Vauxia gracilenta CM98
  Pirania muricata CM98
  Archaeocyatha T10
  Speophilosoma T07
    |--S. koyama T07
    `--S. tottoriense T07
  Lycocerus suturellus T07
  Araragi enthea T07
  Parechthistatus gibber T07
  Parapodisma setouchiensis T07
  Arcuphantes T07
    |--A. hibanus T07
    |--A. iharai T07
    |--A. saitoi T07
    `--A. tsurusakii T07
  ‘Leptophyllus’ Quenstedt 1876 non Hope 1842 FT93
  Periphragella [Euretidae] BJ06
    `--P. antarctica Janussen, Tabachnick & Tendal 2004 BJ06
  Rossellidae BJ06
    |--Schaudinnia rosea (Fristedt 1887) [incl. S. arctica Schulze 1900] BJ06
    |--*Trichasterina borealis Schulze 1900 BJ06
    `--Caulophacus BJ06
         |--C. (Caulodiscus) brandti Janussen, Tabachnick & Tendal 2004 BJ06
         |--C. valdiviae Schulze 1904 BJ06
         `--C. (*Oxydiscus) weddelli Janussen, Tabachnick & Tendal 2004 BJ06
  Sarostegia [incl. Ramella; Farreidae] BJ06
    `--S. occulata Topsent 1904 [incl. *Ramella tubulosa Schulze 1904] BJ06
  Paracharnia dengyingensis XS05
  Sinotubulites baimatuoensis XS05
  Pararenicola Wang 1982 [incl. Paleorhynchus Wang 1982] SWZ86
    `--*P. huaiyuanensis Wang 1982 (see below for synonymy) SWZ86
  Protoarenicola Wang 1982 SWZ86
    `--*P. baiguashanensis Wang 1982 SWZ86
  Gunnarites antarcticus CT05
  Coleoloidae YH85
  Salterellidae [Agmata, Protochoanites, Volborthellacea, Volborthellidae, Volborthellidea] YK03
    |--Lidaconus Onken & Signor 1988 HW02, YK03
    |--Vologdinella Balashov 1962 [Vologdinellidae] T64
    |    `--*V. antiqua (Vologdin 1931) [=Orthoceras antiquus] YK03
    |--Volborthella Schmidt 1888 T64 (see below for synonymy)
    |    `--*V. tenuis Schmidt 1888 [incl. V. conica Schindewolf 1934] YK03
    `--Salterella Billings 1861 T64
         |--S. maccullochi (Murchison 1859) [incl. *S. rugosa Billings 1861] YK03
         `--S. conulata Clark 1925 [incl. S. pulchella Clark 1925] YK03
  Ptychoderma australiensis H09
  Limnorea Goldfuss 1826 BR05
  Cladopora cylindrocellulaia Y92
  Liponissus saurarorum K92
  Ancodon S61
    |--A. gorringei S61
    `--A. parvus S61
  Megacyllene robiniae EBS98
  Shelbyoceras Ulrich & Foerste 1930 T64
    |--*S. robustum Ulrich & Foerste 1930 T64
    |--S. bessemerense Ulrich, Foerste & Miller 1943 P68
    |--S. buttsi Ulrich, Foerste & Miller 1943 P68
    `--S. unguliforme Ulrich, Foerste & Mller 1943 P68
  Conigalea Ivanov 1995 [Actinaculata, Conigaleidae, Conigaleoida, Marinaculata] I95
    `--*C. otschevi Ivanov 1995 I95
  Stylodrilus heringianus KA01
  Basiliella wusungensis D82
  Taimyrosphinctes excentricus SY85
  Chetaites sibiricus SY85
  Hectoceras kochi SY85
  Riasamites riasanensis SY85
  Substeuroceras stantoni SY85
  Lelapia australis T10
  Astylospongia radiata Pickett 1967 F71
  Attungaia F71
    |--A. cloacata F71
    `--A. wellingtonensis Pickett 1967 F71
  Columellaespongia woolomolensis Pickett 1967 F71
  Devonospongia clarkei F71
  Hyalostelia australis Etheridge 1916 F71
  Varneycoelia favosa Pickett 1967 F71
  Receptaculites Defrance 1827 F71, W77 [Receptaculitidae]
    |--R. australis F71
    `--R. clarkei M87
  Cornulitidae F62
  Ramenta Jiang in Luo et al. 1982 P08
  Ernogia Jiang in Luo et al. 1982 P08
  Biconulites de Chardin 1931 F62
    `--*B. grabaui de Chardin 1931 F62
  Stenothecopsis Cobbold 1935 F62
    `--*S. heraultensis Cobbold 1935 F62
  Scenellopsis Resser 1938 F62
    `--*S. clotho (Walcott 1905) [=Scenella clotho] F62
  Charruia Rusconi 1955 F62
    `--*C. annulata Rusconi 1955 F62
  Cyrtotheca Hicks 1872 F62
    `--*C. hamula Hicks 1872 F62
  Peronidella furcata H75
  Anzalia Termier & Termier 1947 H75
    `--*A. cerebriformis Termier & Termier 1947 H75
  Bovicornellum Howell 1934 H62
    `--*B. vermontense Howell 1934 H62
  Cestites Caster & Brooks 1956 H75
    `--*C. mirabilis Caster & Brooks 1956 H75
  Coelenteratella Korde 1959 [=Coelenterella (l. c.)] H75
    `--*C. antiqua Korde 1959 H75
  Lenaella Korde 1959 H75
    `--*L. reticulata Korde 1959 H75
  Paramedusium Gürich 1930 H62
    `--*P. africanum Gürich 1930 H62
  Diorygma Biernat 1961 H75
    `--*D. atrypophilia Biernat 1961 H75
  Escumasia Nitecki & Solem 1973 H75
    `--*E. roryi Nitecki & Solem 1973 H75
  Tyrkanispongia Vologdin & Drozdova 1970 G79
    `--*T. tenua Vologdin & Drozdova 1970 G79
  Redkinia Sokolov 1976 G79
    `--*R. spinosa Sokolov 1976 G79
  Vermiforma Cloud in Cloud et al. 1976 G79
    `--*V. antiqua Cloud in Cloud et al. 1976 G79
  Suvorovellidae G79
    |--Suvorovella Vologdin & Maslov 1960 G79
    |    `--*S. aldanica Vologdin & Maslov 1960 G79
    `--Majella Vologdin & Maslov 1960 G79
         `--*M. verkhojanica Vologdin & Maslov 1960 G79
  Petalostroma Pflug 1973 G79
    `--*P. kuibis Pflug 1973 G79
  Cupitheca Duan in Xing et al. 1984 MP10
  Acidocharacus Qin & Ding 1988 MP10
  Caveacus Landing 1995 L95
    `--*C. rectus Landing 1995 L95
  Fomichella infundabiliformis Missarzhevsky 1969 L95
  Actinotheca Xiao & Zhou 1984 non Cookson & Eisenack 1960 (ICBN) L95
    `--*A. mirus He in Qian 1977 L95
  Ausia fenestrate EL11
  Palaeophragmodictya reticulate EL11
  Rugoconites Glaessner & Wade 1966 EL11, G79
    |--*R. enigmaticus Glaessner & Wade 1966 G79
    `--R. tenuirugosus EL11
  Thectardis avalonensis EL11
  Leiperia gracile B88
  Potamotrygonocotyle amazonensis B88
  Ellisell Peel & Berg-Madsen 1988 YK03
  Arbusculites Murray 1831 M65
  Dendrogramma Just, Kristensen & Olesen 2014 [Dendrogrammatidae] JKO14
    |--*D. enigmatica Just, Kristensen & Olesen 2014 JKO14
    `--D. discoides Just, Kristensen & Olesen 2014 JKO14

Animalia [Agnotozoa, Coelenterata, Diploblastica, Enterozoa, Eumetazoa, Gelatinosa, Lithophyta, Metazoa, Parazoa, Radiata, Spongiaria, Vendobionta, Vendozoa, Xenoconchia]

*Pararenicola huaiyuanensis Wang 1982 [incl. Paleorhynchus anhuiensis Wang 1982, Ruedemannella minuta Wang 1982, Paleolina tortuosa Wang 1982] SWZ86

Volborthella Schmidt 1888 T64 [=Volborthelia (l. c.) T64; incl. Campitius Firby & Durham 1974 HW02; Paleonavtili]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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