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CHAETOPODA (Gr. xairq, hair, aous, foot)

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Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 790 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHAETOPODA (Gr. xairq, hair, aous, foot), a zoological class, including the majority of the Annelida (q.v.), and indeed, save for the Echiuroidea (q.v.), co-extensive with that group as usually accepted. They are divisible into the Haplodrili (q.v.) or Archiannelida, the Polychaeta containing the marine worms, the Oligochaeta or terrestrial and fresh-water annelids (see EARTHWORM), the Hirudinea or leeches (see LEECH), and a small group of parasitic worms, the Myzostomida (q.v.). The distinctive 'characters of the class Chaetopoda as a whole are partly embodied in the name. They possess (save for certain Archiannelida, most Hirudinea, and other very rare exceptions) setae or chaetae implanted in epidermal pits. The setae are implanted metamerically in accordance with the metamerism of the body, which consists of a prostomium followed by a number of segments. The number of segments in an individual is frequently more or less definite. The anterior end of body always shows some " cephalization." The internal organs are largely repeated metamerically; in correspondence with the external metamerism. Thus the body cavity is divided into a sequence of chambers by transverse septa; and even among the Hirudinea, 790 where this condition is usually not to be observed, there is embryological evidence that the existing state of affairs is derived from this. Commonly the nephridia are strictly paired a single pair to each segment, while the branches of the blood vascular system are similarly metameric. The alimentary canal is nearly always a straight tube running from the mouth, which is surrounded by the first segment of the body and overhung by the prostomium, to the anus,which is then either surrounded by the last segment of the body or opens dorsally a little way in front of this.
End of Article: CHAETOPODA (Gr. xairq, hair, aous, foot)
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