The representatives of Asterozoa (Asteroidea, Echinoidea, and Ophiuroidea) have a similar structural plan of the axial complex with minor differences within each class; this structural scheme substantially differs from that in Crinozoa and Holothurozoa. The axial complex consists of the coelomic organs and the haemocoel (blood) structures, which are morphologically and functionally integral. The coelomic organs are the stone canal, axial coelom, perihaemal coeloms (axocoel perihaemal ring and somatocoel perihaemal ring), water ring, and pericardial and genital coeloms. These organs are closely associated with the epigastric and hypogastric coeloms and with the perioral coelomic ring. The haemocoel structures of the axial complex include the oral haemal ring, heart, axial organ, genital haemal ring, and gastric haemal ring. The epineural canals of echinoids and ophiuroids are of a noncoelomic nature. They are formed by the invagination of the ectoneural cord and closing of the epidermis above it. The possible functions of the axial complex in Asterozoa are blood circulation and excretion.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 3, 2014
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