named the study of nematodes nematology and therefore wished to rename
nematodes nemata. Cobb also placed nematodes in their own phylum, the phylum
Nemata. However, when nematodes were placed in the phylum Aschelminthes,
they were classified as class Nematoda (along with class Rotifera, class
Gastrotricha, class Kinorhyncha, class Priapulida and class Nematomorpha).
In 1932, Potss elevated class Nematoda to the level of phylum, leaving
the name the same. While both names have been used (and are still used
today), many believe (including Maggenti, Luc, Raski, Fortuner and Geraert,
1987) that Nemata is a more precise name. When a reference is made to Nemata,
there is no doubt that it is the phylum being referred to whereas when
an author makes a reference to Nematoda, the author could mean either the
phylum or the class. In addition, the name Nemata was used first and therefore
should be given priority.
While nematodes are generally accepted as being a phylum, debate is still ongoing concerning their relationship to other animals grouped together on the basis of the structure of the body cavity.