A further argument in support of this view is that it is in complete agreement with what we know of the sexuality of the ordinary, free-living ascomycetes, where we find both normal and reduced forms (see Fungi).
While the majority of the Nematodes are parasites, there are many that are never at any period of their life parasitic. These free-living forms are found everywhere - in salt and fresh water, in damp earth and moss, and among decaying substances; they are always minute in size, and like many other lower forms of life, are capable of retaining their vitality for a long period even when dried, which accounts for their wide distribution; this faculty is also possessed by certain of the parasitic Nematodes, especially by those which lead a free existence during a part of their life-cycle.
Most remarkable sexual conditions are found to occur in the free-living genera Rhabditis and FIG.
Next, any organism may pass through a series of free-living larval stages, so that the new organism at first resembles its.
The gametophyte, which bears the sexual organs, is either a free-living thallus corresponding in degree of differentiation with the lower liverworts, or it is a mass of cells which always remains enclosed in a spore and is parasitic upon the sporophyte.
The chief peculiarities that distinguish Trematodes from their free-living allies, the Turbellaria, are the development of adhering organs for attachment to the tissues of the host; the replacement of the primitively ciliated epidermis by a thick cuticular layer and deeply sunk cells to ensure protection against the solvent action of the host; and (in one large order) a prolonged and peculiar life-history.
The parasitic and free-living Nematodes are connected by transitional forms which are free at one stage of their existence and parasitic at another; they may be divided into two classes those that are parasitic in the larval state but free when adult, and those that are free in the larval state but parasitic when adult.