Difference Between Protostomes and Deuterostomes

Based on the embryonic development, metazoans are divided into protostomes and deuterostomes. Protostomes are primitive invertebrates while deuterostomes include chordates and echinoderms. This division is helpful in understanding the relationships between different groups of animals. The main difference between protostomes and deuterostomes is that the blastopore in protostomes are developed into a mouth while the blastopore in deuterostomes is developed into an anal opening. Given below in a tabular column are the differences between protostomes and deuterostomes.

Protostomes vs Deuterostomes

Protostomes Deuterostomes
In protostomes, the blastopore develops into a mouth In deuterostomes, the blastopores develop into an anal opening
It exhibits determinate cleavage It exhibits indeterminate cleavage
The gut forms the anus by tunnelling itself into the embryo The gut forms the mouth by tunnelling itself into the embryo
It comprises of a solid ventral cord It comprises of a hollow nerve cord

The key difference between protostomes and deuterostomes is the fate of the blastopore during their embryonic development. The blastopore in a protostome develops into a mouth, whereas the blastopore in deuterostomes develops into an anal opening.

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