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Evolutionary significance of fossil larval shell characters: a case study from the Ostreoidea (Bivalvia: Pteriomorphia)

By
Nikolaus Malchus
Nikolaus Malchus
Institut für Paläontologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Malteserstr. 74-100, Haus D, 12249 Berlin, Germany (e-mail: nikom@cc.uab.es)
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

Prodissoconchs of Middle Jurassic oysters possess key characters for a new understanding of the hinge evolution within the Ostreoidea. The ancestral larval hinge most likely evolved from a mytilid-like provinculum through accelerated growth in an antero-ventral direction along a flat, helico-spiral trajectory. The posterior denticles moved into the centre of the hinge axis while the central and anterior denticles were reduced in size and eventually disappeared. The remaining, now central, posterior denticles evolved further into a secondary symmetrical hinge. In most oysters, except for example Tiostrea, the larval ligament maintained its relative position between posterior and anterior denticles, even though this is not obvious in the Ostreidae because of the loss of the anterior denticles. Larval and adult ligaments are continuous. The examined specimens provide further evidence for the plesiomorphic state of planktotrophy within the superfamily. Although additional direct evidence is lacking, consideration of all new available data favour the hypothesis that the postero-dorsal notch is uniquely derived by oysters. The ideas on character evolution put forward in this study are consistent with phylogeny hypotheses based on palaeontological–biological data and recent genetical studies.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Evolutionary Biology of the Bivalvia

E. M. Harper
E. M. Harper
Cambridge University, UK
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J. D. Taylor
J. D. Taylor
The Natural History Museum, UK
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J. A. Crame
J. A. Crame
British Antarctic Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
177
ISBN electronic:
9781862394254
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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