Nathan V. Whelan

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Elucidating relationships among early animal lineages has been difficult, and recent phylogenomic analyses place Ctenophora sister to all other extant animals, contrary to the traditional view of Porifera as the earliest-branching animal lineage. To date, phylogenetic support for either ctenophores or sponges as sister to other animals has been limited and(More)
Despite an explosion in the amount of sequence data, phylogenomics has failed to settle controversy regarding some critical nodes on the animal tree of life. Understanding relationships among Bilateria, Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Placozoa, and Porifera is essential for studying how complex traits such as neurons, muscles, and gastrulation have evolved. Recent(More)
The Mobile River Basin is a hotspot of molluscan endemism, but anthropogenic activities have caused at least 47 molluscan extinctions, 37 of which were gastropods, in the last century. Nine of these suspected extinctions were in the freshwater gastropod genus Leptoxis (Cerithioidea: Pleuroceridae). Leptoxis compacta, a Cahaba River endemic, has not been(More)
Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better(More)
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