Genetic Meaning of Zooecial Chamber Shapes in Fossil Bryozoans: Fourier Analysis

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Science  15 Sep 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4053, pp. 1000-1002
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4053.1000


Fourier harmonic amplitudes quantitatively characterize chamber shapes of fossil tubular bryozoans. The odd-numbered harmonics, particularly the seventh, carry evolutionary information. The phenotypically plastic second and sixth harmonics measure zooecial orientation and packing, respectively. As a measure of crowding, the sixth harmonic reflects mechanistic growth response to paleoenvironmental conditions.