In contrast with this are polysymmetrical or actinomorphic flowers, which have a radial symmetry and can be divided by several planes into several exactly similar portions; such are all regular, symmetrical flowers.
The grounds for this view are the radial symmetry of several Polyclads and the supposed origin of gonads and excretory flame-cells from the walls of gut, the occurrence of nematocysts in Anonymus, one of the most radially constructed Polyclads, and lastly the presence of two peculiar animals Ctenoplana and Coeloplana, which suggests a transition from Ctenophora to Polyclads.
Since this must have, on our theory, enclosed the parietal canal from the anterior coelom, it is possible that the genital products were developed from the lining cells of that cavity, and that the genital pore was nothing but its original pore not yet united with that from the water-sac. The concrescence of these pores can be traced in other cystids; but as the genital organs became affected by radial symmetry the original function of the duct was lost, and the reproductive elements escaped to the exterior in another way.
This arrangement, however, is by no means characteristic even of the Zaphrentidae, and in the family Cyathophyllidae most of the genera exhibit a radial symmetry in which no trace of the bilateral arrangement described above is recognizable, and indeed in the genus Cyathophyllum itself a radial arrangement is the rule.
Study of the earliest larval stages has always led to the conclusion that the Echinoderms must have descended from some freely-moving form with a bilateral symmetry, and, connecting this with the ideas just mentioned, we reach the conception that this supposed bilateral ancestor (or Dipleurula) may have become fixed, and may have gradually acquired a radial symmetry in consequence of its sedentary mode of life.