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The Classification of the Tunicata in relation to Evolution

Naturevolume 44pages130133 (1891) | Download Citation



THE detailed classification of the Tunicata, and especially of the so-called “Compound Ascidians,” has usually been found a matter of special difficulty by systematists, and each successive Investigator has discovered grounds for modifying in important respects the grouping of genera and families established by his predecessors. A glance at the systems of Giard, Della Valle, von Drasche, and Lahille, all of recent date (i.e. post-Darwinian, and since the introduction of modern methods and the recognition of the Tunicata as Chordata), shows the notable want of agreement between competent authorities. There is probably a special reason for this exceptional diversity of opinion, and I believe the cause is to be found in the course of evolution or phylogeny of the group, and especially in the complex relations between the Compound forms and the other Tunicata.


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