Cladistic analyses of the animal kingdom



A recently published book on the phylogeny of the animal kingdom, written by the first author, provided a classification based on a ‘manual’ cladistic analysis at the phylum level. We have extracted a data matrix consisting of 61 characters for 32 phyla from this book and treated it in more formal analyses using three different parsimony programs. Following a posteriori weighting, one cladogram emerged as the most parsimonious explanation of the data. This cladogram is compared to those in recent publications. Congruence is greatest with the phylogeny published by the first author, as the monophyly of 18 of the 21 supraphyletic categories proposed therein are supported in our cladogram. The exceptions are Aschelminthes, Frotornaeozoa and Neorenalia, but the latter group does emerge as a monophyletic taxon in a number of equally parsimonious, equally weighted trees. Comparisons with other recent phytogenies show varying degrees of divergence, especially concerning the monophyly of Spiralia and Aiticulata, both of which are advocated in the present paper. Significant characters of most of the supraphyletic taxa proposed by the first author are discussed. C1996 The Linnean Society of London