Maybe an Intelligent Design proponent can explain why we need 33-40 phyla when merely 9 of those phyla constitute about 95% of all animal life? The remaining 26-31 phyla have fewer than about 2,000 known members—the rarest with just three members (Cycliophora: odd sacs represented by Symbion pandora), two members (Xenoturbellida: strange flatworm) or one species (Micrognathozoa: tiny jawed animal, and Placozoa, an animal that resembles a multicellular amoeba). Most are simple marine organisms, often referred to as worms or nanoplankton.
Also, how about an Intelligent Design proponent explaining why, among multi-cellular organisms, beetles and mites proliferate so much, producing hundreds of thousands of species, while other phyla produce far fewer? The number of species of mites might even reach 1 million according to some estimates, as more beetles and mites continue being discovered all the time.
13 phyla of multi-cellular animals appear during the Cambrian Explosion.
20 phyla of multi-cellular animals appear AFTER the Cambrian. Neither is the number of phyla into which all the worldʼs species can be divided agreed upon among systematicists. Under the most frequently used classification scheme there are 38 animal phyla, but some systematicists claim there are between 35 and 40 phyla. Three new phyla were discovered in the last century, the most recent in 1993.
See also this post on living fossils.
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