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Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Mon Nov 1 21:21:00 EST 1999

It might be interesting to compare what has happened concerning usage of 
the former phyla Vestimentifera and Pogonophora. At  the moment, as far 
as I am aware from the published literature, no one amongst the many vent-
 worm researchers has yet demoted him/herself to becoming a student of 
family Siboglinidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) as would seem to be required 
by compelling evidence, particularly over several recent years since Rouse 
& Fauchald 1995. I wonder why not? As one 1998 paper cogently puts it, 
"there is a large amount of congruence among several disparate sources 
of data" that pogonophora are annelids. In contrast this does not seem to 
be the situation yet with respect to echiurans. However, this is  just an 
observation, not a critical comment on vestimentiferan workers, who mostly 
do not need to be involved with taxonomic hierarchy issues.  Expressing 
awareness but  caution, or a delicate fudging / fence-sitting in these 
matters is probably sensible practice ... as exemplified in a  recent paper 
by these workers on an echiuran:   

McKenzie, J. D., & D. J. Hughes. 1999. Integument of Maxmuelleria 
lankesteri (Echiura), with notes on bacterial symbionts and possible 
evidence of viral activity.— Invertebrate Biology, 118(3):296-309.

  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>

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