The Phylum Rotifera
Etymology- From the Latin Rota a wheel, and Ferre to bear or carry.
Characteristics of Rotifera:
- Bilaterally symmetrical.
- Body has more than two cell layers, tissues and organs.
- Body cavity is a pseudocoelom.
- Body possesses a through gut with an anus.
- Body covered in an external layer of chitin called a lorica.
- Has a nervous system with a brain and paired nerves.
- Has no circulatory or respiratory organs.
- Reproduction mostly parthenogenetic, otherwise sexual and gonochoristic.
- Feed on bacteria, and protista, or are parasitic.
- All live in aquatic environments either free swimming or attached.