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Functional morphology of the pedicellariae of the asteroid Marthasterias glacialis (Echinodermata)
Lambert, A.; De Vos, L.; Jangoux, M. (1984). Functional morphology of the pedicellariae of the asteroid Marthasterias glacialis (Echinodermata). Zoomorphology 104(2): 122-130. dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00312026
In: Zoomorphology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 0720-213X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Lambert, A.
  • De Vos, L.
  • Jangoux, M., more

Abstract
    Marthasterias glacialis bears two kinds of pedicellariae. The straight pedicellariae are single and occur everywhere on the asteroid body surface except in the ambulacral groove. The crossed pedicellariae are clustered on mobile structures (the rosettes) build around marginal and abactinal spines.Basically, each pedicellaria has a head and a stalk. A skeleton occurs only in the pedicellarial head. It consists of two valves and a basal piece. Muscular bundles are anchored on these skeletal ossicles. The straight pedicellariae have two pairs of adductor muscles (the inner and the outer adductors) and one pair of abductor muscles, these latter being weakly developed. Longitudinal muscle fibers occur all along the stalk of straight pedicellariae. The crossed pedicellariae have two pairs of adductor muscles (the distal and the proximal adductors) and two pairs of abductor muscles (the distal and the proximal abductors). The proximal adductors of crossed pedicellariae are homologous to the stalk muscles of straight pedicellariae.The pedicellariae are able to react to direct and indirect tactile stimuli. There is a great deal of individual variation among pedicellarial responses. Moreover, the reactions occur at random and lack coordination. The seemingly aberrant behavior of the pedicellariae is interpreted as a preventive activity that protects the asteroid body surface against unwanted materials and organisms.

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