Phoronids, common name for a wormlike marine invertebrate animal, a kind of tube worm ( "see "Worm). There are about 12 species of phoronids. They are sedentary animals that can be as long as 38 cm (15 in). Most species secrete a protective tube in the mud or sand bottoms of shallow seas.

The phoronids are regarded as closely related

The phoronids are regarded as closely related to the bryozoans and brachiopods because they possess a lophophore, a horseshoe-shaped structure carrying ciliated tentacles ( "see "Tentaculata). The tentacles serve to catch food materials suspended in the water, and the cilia move mucus-entrapped food to the mouth, located at the center of the lophophore. The digestive tract is U-shaped, so the anus is located near the `head` of the animal but outside the lophophore.

The phoronids possess a well-developed

The phoronids possess a well-developed circulatory system. Some species are hermaphroditic, in which one individual may have both male and female organs. Fertilization generally occurs outside the body; however, in some species, the eggs develop at the base of the lophophore tentacles.

"`Scientific classification:"` Phoronids

"`Scientific classification:"` Phoronids are members of the phylum Phoronida, of the kingdom Animalia.

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