A phylum of marine invertebrates – the lamp shells. They live in shallow waters, attached to a firm substratum by means of a flexible stalk (peduncle), and are protected by a bivalved shell consisting of dorsal and ventral valves. A food-gathering lophophore protrudes from the shell. Brachiopods thrived in Palaeozoic times but are now much less numerous; living brachiopods include Terebratella, with an articulated shell; and Lingula, in which the shell valves are held together by muscles only. Brachiopods belong to the clade of protostome animals called Lophotrochozoa.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography — Biological Sciences.