Definition of Pogonophora in US English:


plural noun

  • A small phylum of long deep-sea worms which live in upright tubes of protein and chitin. They lack mouths and guts, subsisting mainly on the products of symbiotic bacteria.

    • ‘These include representatives of the Porifera, Mollusca, and possibly Arthropoda and Annelida or Pogonophora.’
    • ‘Two phyla that are probably close relatives of the Annelida, the Pogonophora and Echiura (spoon worms) are very rare as fossils, but all three groups belong to the larger group Trochozoa.’
    • ‘For example, bacterial endosymbionts as found in the giant vent Pogonophora are also present in many meiofaunal oligochaetes, nematodes and flatworms.’
    • ‘Another phylum, the Pogonophora, are also vermiform animals with a trochophore larva.’
    • ‘Both the frenulate pogonophoran clade and the vestimentiferan clade have been referred to as phyla, classes within the Annelida, classes within the Pogonophora, and subclasses within class Pogonophora within the Annelida.’


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek pōgōn ‘beard’ + pherein ‘to bear’.