Polychaete Chaetae: Function, Fossils, And Phylogeny

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Integrative And Comparative Biology


In this article we review the phylogenetic distribution of major chaetal types within the Polychaeta, discuss what has been demonstrated about chaetal function in modern worms, and examine what is known about the evolution of chaete through the fossil record. We conclude with specific cautions about how chaetae are treated in phylogenetic analyses and make suggestions about how they could be used to provide a stronger phylogenetic signal.