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Wound healing and survival of beheaded chaetognaths
Duvert, M.; Perez, Y.; Casanova, J.-P. (2000). Wound healing and survival of beheaded chaetognaths. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 80: 891-898
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Duvert, M.
  • Perez, Y.
  • Casanova, J.-P.

    The observation in natural conditions of headless chaetognaths with healed scars and ripe gonads led us to reproduce this condition experimentally. Histological sections were made on specimens of Sagitta and Spadella at different times after beheading. The muscles contract and the gut closes the wound, so that by the end of the first two hours, the body wall and gut 'basement membranes' are in continuity, so restoring the integrity of the body. After two hours, the muscular layer of the body wall is reshaped and closes up the wound; the gut seals off, and a 'clot' is evident in the wound area. The benthic Spadella cephaloptera survives some 30 d or more after decapitation. Specimens carrying ripe ova were able to lay them, to mature and fill their seminal vesicles once or twice and to mate with normal mature specimens. Headless chaetognaths must take up nutrients through the integument. It appears that chaetognaths cannot really regenerate head or tail tip.

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