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Evolution to the extreme: origins of the highly modified apical system in pourtalesiid echinoids
Saucede, T.; Mooi, R.; David, B. (2004). Evolution to the extreme: origins of the highly modified apical system in pourtalesiid echinoids. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 140(1): 137-155
In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0024-4082; e-ISSN 1096-3642, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Biology > Organism morphology > Animal morphology
    Water > Deep water
    Echinoidea [WoRMS]; Pourtalesiidae A. Agassiz, 1881 [WoRMS]

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  • Saucede, T.
  • Mooi, R.
  • David, B., more

    The apical system of the genus Pourtalesia displays a plate architecture that falls so far outside that typical of other echinoids that plate homologies remain problematic. A new approach using the Extraxial-Axial Theory (EAT) that develops homologies for the Echinodermata is proposed. The exploration of apical plate patterns throughout ontogenetic sequences shows that the typical holasteroid pattern found in the youngest specimens undergoes a series of disturbances that result in a multiple disjunction accompanied by isolation or disappearance of certain genital plates. We propose a new interpretation of the apical architecture of the genus that agrees with: (1) the plate addition processes as predicted by the EAT; (2) patterns observed in other genera of the Pourtalesiidae as well as in its sister-group (plexechinids); and (3) the patterns known from Palaeocene holasteroids. In the context of the EAT, the genus Pourtalesia appears to represent the extreme in a reduction of the extraxial part of the body wall.

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