Zoology Phyla in Poetic Rhyming +

(phyla rhymes or major taxonomic groups, classifying of living organisms, into which animals are divided and made up of several classes in poetic format)

There is a power within, which molds every form—in planets, in plants, in animals, and in men.

Animals and plants, complex though they may appear, are yet composed of comparatively few elementary parts, frequently repeated.

—Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
Phylum 01, Protozoa
The Protozoa (Greek, first critters)
Are short, or long, or round like fritters;
They go through life with but one cell
And seem to manage very well.

Protozoa exist throughout aqueous environments and soil, occupying a range of trophic (nutritional) levels. As predators, they prey upon unicellular or filamentous algae, bacteria, and microfungi.

Protozoa play a role as both herbivores and consumers in the decomposer link of the food chain.

Protozoa also play a vital role in controlling bacteria populations and biomass and they may absorb food via their cell membranes, some; for example, amoebas, surround food and engulf it, and yet others have openings or "mouth pores" into which they sweep food.

All protozoa digest their food in stomach-like compartments called vacuoles.

Phylum 02, Porifera
We sponges are all full of them;
We look with scorn on beasts below,
And say, "We're holier than thou."

Sponges have bodies that consist of jelly-like mesohyl (the gelatinous matrix within a sponge) sandwiched between two thin layers of cells with an endoskeleton and branching water intake canals lined by flagellated collar cells for feeding and excretion.

Water passes through these animals by way of the canals and a series of flagellated chambers (lash-like appendages used for locomotion) and exits via large channels and pores or oscula.

Phylum 03, Coelenterata
Coelenterata (from the Greek)
A hollow body doth bespeak.
These creatures jellyfishes be,
Hydras and corals of the sea,
The sea fan and anemone.

Coelenterata is an obsolete term encompassing two animal phyla, the Ctenophora (comb jellies) and the Cnidaria (coral animals, true jellies, sea anemones, sea pens, and their allies).

The name comes from the Greek koilos, "full bellied", referring to the hollow body cavity common to these two phyla. They have very simple tissue organization, with only two layers of cells, external and internal.

Phylum 04, Ctenophora
Through the waters of the seas,
Gliding slowly with graceful ease,
Go the ctenophores, whose Greek name
The comb-bearers doth proclaim.

Commonly known as comb jellies, they are a phylum of animals that live in marine waters worldwide. Their most distinctive feature is the "combs", groups of cilia that they use for swimming, and they are the largest animals that swim by means of cilia.

Adults of various species range from a few millimeters to 1.5 meters (59 inches) in size. Their bodies consist of a mass of jelly with one layer of cells on the outside and another lining the internal cavity.

Phylum 05, Platyhelminthes
Flatworms in brooks o'er stones do slither,
Or else invade some creature's liver.
All these worms are very flat:
Platyhelminth means just that.

Unlike other bilaterians (a front and a back end, as well as an upside and downside) they have no body cavity, and no specialized circulatory and respiratory organs, which restricts them to flattened shapes that allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through their bodies by diffusion.

Phylum 06, Mesozoa
Mesozoa, middle creatures,
part way up the scale are we,
From amoeba's simple features
Unto man's complexity.

Mesozoa were once thought to be evolutionary intermediate forms between Protozoans and Metazoans, but now they are thought to be degenerate or simplified metazoa.

Phylum 07, Nemertinea
We Nemertinea, if you please,
Trace our name to Nemertes,
Lovely goddess of the seas;
And like her, as shown in art,
We're fatter in our tummy part.

Phylum 08, Rotifera
Take Latin rotula, little wheel,
Add to it ferro, or I bear,
And Rotifera will reveal
The sort of creatures that we are.

Phylum 09, Gastrotricha
First say gaster, then say trich,
And you will have said in Greek,
"Stomach bristle", which describes
The bristle-belly's various tribes.
If this sounds a bit ill-bred,
Hairy stomach say instead.

Phylum 10, Nematoda
When Aristotle nema said,
He meant (so I've been told) "a thread";
And when he oidea did exclaim,
These thready wormlets got their name.

Phylum 11, Nematomorpha
Nema, thread, plus morpha, form,
To the mind suggests a worm;
This again suggests another,
To wit the one which gave such bother
To the Emperor Alexander
That it raised his royal dander!

Phylum 12, Echinodera
Echinoderes are little specks
Of animals with spiny necks.
Echinodera, in the Greek,
Means this; but these specks are unique.
So very old that they're antique.

Phylum 13, Acanthocephala
Acanthos, spine, the scholar said,
Prefixed to cephale, the head,
Makes up this name which you've just read,
This name, compounded from these terms
Is most appropriate for these worms.

Phylum 14, Entorprocta
Inside-anus is the meaning
Of this Greek-compounded term,
Signifying that in cleaning
Its digestive tube, this worm
Uses an internal pore
Just inside its lophophore.

Phylum 15, Sipunculoidea
Sipunculus means "little tube",
And oidea means "like";
Sometimes this worm is like a club;
Again, it's like a spike.
Outstretched to feed, it's long and thin;
In fright bunched up, its tube within.

—Compiled from
"Phyla Rhymes" by Leon Augustus Hausman located in the book
Essentials of Zoology by Leon Augustus Hausman;
Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York;
1963; Appendix, pages 283-288.