Crystal Axes in Recent and Fossil Adult Echinoids Indicate Trophic Mode in Larval Development

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Science  22 Nov 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4728, pp. 937-940
DOI: 10.1126/science.230.4728.937


The type of larval development in echinoids (Phylum Echinodermata) was found to determine crystal patterns in adult apical skeletal plates. This relation between larvae and adults will allow fossil species to be examined to determine the effects of developmental mode on evolutionary patterns, such as species longevity and speciation rate. Independent tests of hypotheses of such patterns now shown among fossil mollusks with and without feeding larvae can thus be performed.