Animal Phyla/Micrognathozoa

Limnonathia, drawing, a Micrognathozoan.
  • Micrognathozoa (sometimes called Phylum Gnathifera)
  • Name Meaning: Tiny jaw animals
  • English Common Name: Micrognathozoans
  • Major distinguishing characteristics: Accordion like extensible thorax
  • Approximate number of species described: 1

Natural HistoryEdit

Micrognathozoa are one of the smallest animals, averaging one-tenth of a millimeter (0.004 inches) long.

Its main diet is bacteria, blue-green algae and diatoms. L. maerski has a large ganglion, or 'brain', in its head, and paired nerve cords


One species is known. It's classification is:

  • Class Micrognathozoa
  • Order Limnognathida
  • Family Limnognathiidae
  • species Limnognathia maerski


They have very complicated jaws, the parts connected by ligaments and muscles. They can extend part of the jaw outside the mouth to eat or regurgitate indigestible items.

It's possible that Micrognathans hatch as males and become female as they grow.

The Fossil RecordEdit

There is no known fossil record.


References and Further ReadingEdit