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 16, Echiuroidea
In Greek, the word echis plus oura doth make
Echiuroidea, tail of a snake.
But these worms a snake's tail do seem to resemble
As much as a necktie doth look like a thimble!

Phylum 17, Mollusca
From a Latin word, mollis, which signifies soft,
Our name is derived; yet 'tis known that we oft
In shelly encasements our bodies enclose
To give us protection from ravenous foes.

Phylum 18, Annelida
Annulatus, "ringed"; this term
Indicates the common worm;
But Annelida, some folks claim,
Is the preferable name.

Phylum 19, Tardigrada
The tiny Tardigrada go
Through life with clumsy steps and slow;
Yet they are highly organized,
A fact not often recognized.

Phylum 20, Arthropoda
An arthropod's a boneless creature
Whose chief diagnostic feature
Is its jointed legs: that is,
Articulate appendages.
Arthro, joint, affixed to pod,
Makes a name correct, though odd.

Phylum 21, Chaetognatha
A chaetognath or arrowworm
Pursues its life without a squirm;
The creature is an ocean roamer,
Its title, "worm," is a misnomer.

Phylum 22, Ectoprocta
Ectoprocta, outside-anus,
Anatomically correct,
Is a name that's almost heinous
To the socially elect;
Yet the name means nothing more
Than outside the lophophore.

A lophophore is a circular or horseshoe-shaped structure of tentacles around the mouth of a bryozoan or brachiopod that is used for capturing food.

Phylum 23, Brachiopoda
Brachion, arm, plus pous, a foot,
Someone did together put,
One who deemed himself a scholar.
(Wish I had him by the collar!)

Phylum 24, Phoronidea
Poor little phoronids! They don't know
Where the dickens they should go,
Above the lamp shells or below!
From a king they take their name,
Phoronis, of classic fame.

Phylum 25, Priapuloidea
He who gave his name to us
Was the ancient Priapus,
An old classic deity,
God of all fertility;
And we worms look like a part
Of him shown in classic art.

Phylum 26, Echinodermata
Echinus means spiny and derma means skin;
We are prickly without but all mushy within;
Our parts are spread out in fives, like a star;
We are called pentapartite, and that's what we are.

Phylum 27, Hemichordata
Hemichorda, half-a-cord,
More than this they can't afford;
Deep within their frame it lies,
One of nature's mysteries.

Phylum 28, Pogonophora
In Greek pogonos means a beard,
And phorein means to wear the same.
In ocean's depths, unseen, unheard,
For ages lived a bearded worm;
'Twas caught, whole and alive,
And named in nineteen fifty-five.

Phylum 29, Chordata
If you are well-versed in your Latinity
You'll detect in Chordata a certain affinity
With chord, which refers to a rod in the back,
A specialized structure which other beasts lack.

—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.