The placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens is a small (1 to 2 mm) ciliated disc-shaped microscopic marine animal. The thin body consists only of an epithelium and an internal mesenchyme. The epithelium has two regions: an upper free, or dorsal, epithelium of cover cells and a lower attached, or ventral, epithelium of cylinder and gland cells. Some differences between the central and marginal areas in the body have also been reported. When the densely ciliated ventral epithelium is in contact with the substrate, the animals display a gliding or creeping locomotion. When the animal is feeding, its shape changes periodically. (Ueda et al. 1999; Maruyama 2004 and references therein; Srivastava et al. 2008)
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