A large phylum of worms with slender, unsegmented, cylindrical bodies, including the roundworms, threadworms, and eelworms. They are found abundantly in soil and water, and many are parasites.
- Other ecdysozoan phyla include Nematoda, Tardigrada, and Onychophora; this classification thus removes onychophorans from the Arthropoda and makes them an outgroup.
- For example, both the Nematoda and Platyhelminthes contain obligate parasites as well as free-living species.
- The hexagonal arrangement in both adults and larvae of the internal armature in the buccal apparatus may be plesiomorphic, a shared character with Nematoda and Nematomorpha (Nematoida, subgroup of Cycloneuralia).
Modern Latin (plural), from Greek nēma, nēmat- 'thread'.
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