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A cadaver unearthed: the anatomy of the Japanese living fossil Stirpulina ramosa (Bivalvia: Anomalodesmata: Clavagellidae) - the unique specimen in the collections of Emperor Showa
Morton, B. (2013). A cadaver unearthed: the anatomy of the Japanese living fossil Stirpulina ramosa (Bivalvia: Anomalodesmata: Clavagellidae) - the unique specimen in the collections of Emperor Showa. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 169(4): 776–797. hdl.handle.net/10.1111/zoj.12080
In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0024-4082, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Convergence; Evolution; Penicillidae Gray, 1858 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Penicillidae; Tube-dwelling

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  • Morton, B.

Abstract
    The only extant, preserved and complete specimen of Stirpulina ramosa has been discovered in the collections of the late Emperor Showa (Hirohito) and is described herein. Hitherto, only shells and the adventitious tubes of this species have been described. This study of the anatomy complements previous ones and adds further information as to how the adventitious tube is formed: that is, by the laying down of an organic, periostracum-like, template that is then biomineralized internally to form the tube and is externally plastered with the clasts that constitute the enclosing burrow wall. Such secretions are produced by pallial lobes that unite on the right side to create the characteristic sutured pleat in this region of the tube. The periostracum enclosing the so-interred animal is then secreted against the internal template of the tube. The shell of S.?ramosa and, as a consequence, the musculature, is greatly disfigured as a result of the incorporation of the left valve into the fabric of the adventitious tube. This valve can, however, continue to grow within the tube, especially posteriorly. The right valve remains free inside the tube but grows only a little more anteriorly. The anterior mantle, with a minute pedal gape, is greatly thickened and secretes the watering pot component of the tube. In many anatomical respects, for example simultaneous hermaphroditism, S.?ramosa still reflects the basic anomalodesmatan plan and such modifications as there are from the clavagellid form relate principally to the structure, formation and thus functioning of the adventitious tube. This study of S.?ramosa has allowed the full spectrum of clavagellid adaptive radiation to be analysed and an evolutionary picture created which suggests that species of Clavagella/Dacosta and Stirpulina are Mesozoic (Late Cretaceous) remnants. Conversely, species of Bryopa and Dianadema are more modern, Late Oligocene and Palaeocene (Cenozoic), respectively, and possibly evolved in association with the emergence of the Indo-West Pacific centre of coral diversity, with a postulated average age of just 30 Myr.

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