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The homology of the stomochord of the Enteropneusta.

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SUMMARY.

  • 1The structure and anatomical relations of the stomochord found in enteropneusts are briefly reviewed and contrasted with those of the chordate notochord.
  • 2It is pointed out that the difference of opinion expressed about the homology of the stomochord can be attributed in part to the variable meanings attached to the concept of homology by different writers. It is now generally agreed that comparative anatomy is the safest criterion for the assessment of homology and on these grounds the homology of the stomochord with the notochord must be rejected. Further, homology between the two structures cannot be sustained by appeal to similarity of development for they arise quite differently in the embryo.
  • 3The enteropneust stomochord has some resemblances to the cardiac body found in some polychaetes but it is not suggested that it is homologous with it.
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