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A critique of biramous interpretations of the crustacean antennule

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For several groups of Crustacea (especially Remipedia, Malacostraca, and Ostracoda) it has been repeatedly suggested that the antennula (first antenna) is serially homologous with the post-antennular limbs, particularly with regard to the existence of an endopodite and an exopodite. This opinion is critically reviewed and, based on arguments derived from comparative morphology, developmental biology, and phylogeny of various groups belonging to the Arthropoda, ultimately refuted. Available evidence indicates that crustacean antennules are primitively single axis limbs and the use of a terminology derived from a biramous limb, as used in some publications, is both unjustified and potentially misleading. Pour plusieurs groupes de Crustacés (en particulier les Rémipèdes, les Malacostracés et les Ostracodes), il a été suggéré à plusieurs reprises que l'antennule (première antenne) est homologue sérielle des appendices post-antennulaires, en particulier par rapport à l'existence d'un endopodite et d'un exopodite. Cette opinion est analysée de façon critique à partir d'arguments provenant de la morphologie comparative, de la biologie du développement et de la phylogénie de divers groupes d'Arthropodes, et est finalement réfutée. Les éléments disponibles indiquent avec évidence que les antennules de crustacés sont primitivement des appendices à axe simple et l'usage d'une terminologie dérivée d'un appendice biramé, observé dans certaines publications, est à la fois injustifié et peut potentiellement induire des erreurs.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom; 2: Commission of the Stratigraphical & Palaeontological Research of Austria, Austrian Academy of Sciences, c/o Institute of Earth Sciences (Geology and Palaeontology), University of Graz, Heinrichstrasse 26, A-8010 Graz, Austria; 3: Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom; Queen Mary University of London, Department of Geography, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, United Kingdom; 4: Lake Biwa Museum, Oroshimo 1091, 525-0001 Kusatsu, Japan; 5: "Emil Racovitza" Speleological Institute, Calea 13 Septembrie 13, Sect. 5, RO-050711 Bucharest, Roumania

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