MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Are annelids or molluscs more advanced?

Date: Mon Jan 16 09:30:42 2006
Posted By: Yvonne A. Simpson, Science Communicator
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 1134330580.Zo

Hi there, 

Well, I suppose it depends how you define advanced.  As both have 
succeeded in many niches and environments and both are very diverse in 
terms of forms .I think I would be tempted to say molluscs for the reason 
you suggest.  The octopus is thought to be as intelligent as a dog and has a 
very 'advanced' eye structure.

Moderator's note:
Terms like "advanced" are tricky, because they imply "value" (and one can't
measure "advancedness").  In this case,  I think a better word would be
"complexity".  In the evolutionary sense,  both annelids and molluscs share a
common ancestor so neither is more "advanced".  For more on the topic, I'd
suggest checking out the tree of life project.
Rob Campbell, Moderator

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