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Fine structure and presumed functions of the pedicellariae of Echinocardium cordatum (Echinodermata, Echinoida)
Ghyoot, M.; de Ridder, C.; Jangoux, M. (1987). Fine structure and presumed functions of the pedicellariae of Echinocardium cordatum (Echinodermata, Echinoida). Zoomorphology 106(5): 279-288. dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00312002
In: Zoomorphology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0720-213X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ghyoot, M.
  • de Ridder, C., more
  • Jangoux, M., more

Abstract
    Tridactylous, trifoliate, and globiferous pedicellariae occur on the body surface of Echinocardium cordatum. Tridactyles have three forms: the typical, the rostrate, and the large forms. Both typical and rostrate tridactyles and trifoliates occur all around the echinoid body (trifoliates are, however, 4 times more numerous than tridactyles). Large tridactylous and globiferous pedicellariae are restricted to the peribuccal area.As a general rule tridactyles and trifoliates are similar in morphology. The distal part of the valves forms an open blade and bears lateral teeth and/or denticles (single or in combs). The stalk consists of a rigid proximal part supported by an axial rod and a flexible distal part which includes an axial fluid-filled cavity. The cavity is surrounded by muscle fibers and acts as an hydroskeleton, allowing the undulating-coiling movements of the flexible part of the stalk. Trifoliates are always active while tridactyles react only to direct or indirect mechanical stimulation.The valves of the globiferous pedicellariae have a tubular distal part whose upper opening is surrounded by teeth. There is no differentiated venom gland but a cluster of epithelial glandular cells located at the level of the valve upper opening. A small ciliary pad occurs just below the glandular cluster. Globiferous stalks are not flexible, being supported for their full length by an axial rod. Globiferous pedicellariae appear to be sensitive only to chemical stimulation.The presumed functions of E. cordatum pedicellariae are (1) cleaning of the body surface and ciliary structures (trifoliates), (2) protection against sedimenting particles (tridactyles), and (3) defense of the peribuccal area against potential small predators (globiferous pedicellariae).

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