Balanoglossus

Balanoglossus

Balanoglossus is an ocean-dwelling acorn worm (Enteropneusta) genus of great zoological interest because it is, like all Hemichordates, an "evolutionary link" between invertebrates and vertebrates. Balanoglossus is a deuterostome, and resembles the Ascidians or sea squirts, in that it possesses branchial openings, or "gill slits", but no notochord and no chorda. It does have a stomochord, however, which is gut chord within the collar. Their heads may be as small as 2.5 mm (1/10 in) or as large as 5 mm (1/5 in).

Species

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