• Georg Mayer
  • Franziska Anni Franke
  • Sandra Treffkorn
  • Vladimir Gross
  • Ivo de Sena Oliveira


Onychophorans, or “velvet worms” (Fig. 4.1), are multi-legged, terrestrial invertebrates that inhabit decaying logs, soil, and leaf litter of tropical and temperate forests on landmasses that have resulted from the breakup of Gondwana (Fig. 4.2A). The approximately 200 described species are classified into two major subgroups, the Peripatidae and Peripatopsidae, which might have diverged over 350 million years ago (Fig. 4.2A, B). The anatomy of onychophorans has changed little since the Early Cambrian, as they resemble fossil lobopodians – putative stem-group representatives of Panarthropoda (Onychophora + Tardigrada + Arthropoda).


Antennal Segment Coelomic Cavity Segment Polarity Gene Vitelline Envelope Viviparous Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Mayer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Franziska Anni Franke
    • 2
  • Sandra Treffkorn
    • 1
  • Vladimir Gross
    • 1
  • Ivo de Sena Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.Animal Evolution and DevelopmentInstitute of Biology, University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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