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The Functional and Adaptive Morphology of the Deep-Sea Species of the Family Limopsidae (Bivalvia: Arcoida) from the Atlantic

G. Oliver and J. A. Allen
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Vol. 291, No. 1045 (Nov. 20, 1980), pp. 77-125
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2395366
Page Count: 49
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Functional and Adaptive Morphology of the Deep-Sea Species of the Family Limopsidae (Bivalvia: Arcoida) from the Atlantic
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Abstract

The functional and adaptive morphology of six species of the genus Limopsis from deep water of the Atlantic is investigated and the following species and subspecies are described: L. aurita, L. surinamensis (new species), L. tenella, L. minuta, L. cristata cristata, L. cristata affinis, L. cristata intermedia (new subspeices), L. cristata lanceolata (new subspecies), L. galathea. Species of the genus Limopsis are among the relatively few suspension-feeding bivalves of the deep sea. The genus is not represented in shelf faunas. It is byssate, but the species described here show a change in habit from the exobyssate to the endobyssate condition and a corresponding reduction in the number and coarseness of the byssus threads produced. While the morphology of the species is similar in all the species described, differences being restricted to minor variation in the gills and palps, the viscera are confined to a small dorsal portion of the mantle cavity. Thus, while small body size is related to the paucity of food, production of a large thick shell may require a relatively small proportion of the energy input and yet confer advantage possibly in protection and in feeding mechanism. Eggs are relatively few and of a size indicating that the larvae are planktonic but non-feeding. The widely occurring species L. tenella shows differences in the shell characters of different populations. In L. cristata variation is such that it has been possible to describe subspecies.

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