Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Phylum (pl. phyla) is a term used in the scientific classification of organisms. That system recognizes the generally accepted grouping of animals with certain evolutionary traits into taxa below the kingdom level, called phyla. The most well known phyla of kingdom Animalia are the Mollusca, Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Annelida, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and Chordata, our own phylum.
There are more than 35 phyla in all, but these nine generally comprise the bulk of the kingdom.
External Links (Etymology)
- American Heritage Dictionary: New Latin phylum, from Greek phūlon, class.
- Online Etymological Dictionary: from Gk. phylon "race, stock," related to phyle "tribe, clan," and phylein "bring forth" of physikos "pertaining to nature," from physis "nature"
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