REASSESSMENT OF BLASTOID (ECHINODERMATA) PHYLOGENY WITH INTERNAL CHARACTER DATA
The current understanding of blastoid evolutionary relationships has been progressing with reassessment of homologous elements and numerous species. The most recent phylogenetic hypotheses suggest that Spiraculata is polyphyletic, occurring multiple times within Fissiculata.Recent analyses suggest that the inclusion of hydrospire models into a phylogenetic hypothesis provided increased understanding of evolutionary relationships, however, this work was limited to solely spiraculate data. We expand upon this study by incorporating two additional spiraculate and two fissiculate species. These additional models aid in elucidating relationships between fissiculates and spiraculates as well as allow us to test more complex questions with the evolutionary framework.