Everything You Need To Know About Cycliophora

  • Cycliophora is a phylum, which, if you remember your biology, is one step below a kingdom in scientific classification.
  • The word itself comes from the Greek for "wheel-wearer", and refers to its members' circular mouths.
  • They were discovered in Denmark in 1995, and caused a big media sensation because the creatures were so peculiar as to warrant an entire phylum, even in such a late stage of our taxonomical progress.
  • It consists entirely of 3 species, all of which belong to the genus Symbion. As a matter of course, all 3 animals are, in fact, symbiotic.
  • Cycliophora species make their symbiotic living on the mouths of lobsters.

And that's it, that's all you need to know.

Something You Do Not Need To Know, And Are Probably Better Off Not Knowing

When a biologist says "it is unlike anything we have seen before", you know it's gotta be good. When Symbion pandora (the first Cycliophora) was discovered, scientists argued whether it had one penis or two (verdict: one), and whether it reproduced by budding or genesis - verdict: both!

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