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Gastropod Radulae and the Assessment of Form in Evolutionary Paleontology

Carole S. Hickman
Paleobiology
Vol. 6, No. 3 (Summer, 1980), pp. 276-294
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2400346
Page Count: 19
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Gastropod Radulae and the Assessment of Form in Evolutionary Paleontology
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Abstract

Evolutionary paleontologists seek explanations of form and pattern in a diversity of contexts. A review of this diversity is presented to underscore the difficulty of producing a general model of the factors controlling the morphology of real organisms. A model specific to the marine prosobranch gastropod radula identifies seven factors contributing to form and pattern: (1) phylogenetic, (2) mechanical, (3) ecological, (4) programmatic, (5) maturational, (6) degenerative, and (7) constructional. Aspects of radular morphology attributable to each factor are illustrated in scanning electron micrographs of radulae of marine prosobranch gastropods. Applications of and extrapolations from the radular model are made to promote recognition of a broader range of interacting factors in other systems. Some aspects of form and pattern convey important information about non-evolutionary processes and phenomena and are best examined outside of the evolutionary framework.

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