Bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic eucoelomates can be divided into two groups based on differences in their early embryonic development. Protostomes include phyla such as arthropods, mollusks, and annelids. Deuterostomes include the chordates and echinoderms. These two groups are named from which opening of the digestive cavity develops first: mouth or anus. The word protostome comes from Greek words meaning “mouth first,” and deuterostome originates from words meaning “mouth second” (in this case, the anus develops first). This difference reflects the fate of a structure called the blastopore (Figure 15.7), which becomes the mouth in protostomes and the anus in deuterostomes. Other developmental characteristics differ between protostomes and deuterostomes, including the mode of formation of the coelom and the early cell division of the embryo.
Figure 15.7 Eucoelomates can be divided into two groups, protostomes and deuterostomes, based on their early embryonic development. Two of these differences include the origin of the mouth opening and the way in which the coelom is formed.