Extinct organisms with no close analogs and only distant living relatives are especially difficult subjects for paleobiological interpretation. Graptolites, especially the derived planktic Graptoloidea, are among this group of enigmatic fossils. Although the Pterobranchia are widely regarded as a sister group to graptolites, their entirely benthic, loosely organized colonies provide a poor analog for the mobile, highly integrated graptoloid colonies with their complex geometries. As a consequence, many basic features of zooid form and function are unknown. Under these circumstances, particularly troubling features—that is, features that do not readily fit into our simple models—may provide critical data with which to...
THE STRUCTURE AND POSSIBLE FUNCTION OF ‘BASAL MEMBRANES’ IN THE SPINOUSE CLIMACOGRAPTID GRAPTOLITE APPENDISPINOGRAPTUS LI AND LI 1985
CHARLES E. MITCHELL, CHEN XU, STANLEY C. FINNEY; THE STRUCTURE AND POSSIBLE FUNCTION OF ‘BASAL MEMBRANES’ IN THE SPINOUSE CLIMACOGRAPTID GRAPTOLITE APPENDISPINOGRAPTUS LI AND LI 1985. Journal of Paleontology ; 81 (5): 1122–1127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1666/pleo05-105.1
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This article is one of a series of papers published in this Special Issue on the theme The dynamic reef and shelly communities of the Paleozoic. This Special is in honour of our colleague and friend Paul Copper.