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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The proximal portions of remipedian and cephalocarid trunk limbs were observed in detail. Some phylogenetically important structures have been formerly overlooked or ignored. The lobelike outer part of the bulbous structure on the proximal portion of the remipedian exopod is assumed to be a positional homologue of the pseudepipod in cephalocarid limbs. The remainder of the bulbous structure corresponds to the exopod segment from which the pseudepipod arises in cephalocarids. Aspects of remipedian limb musculature are preliminarily described. In limbs of some copepods, of which the endopod is 3-segmented, the inner portion of the basis closely resembles the endopod segments in appearance. Based upon these observations, a hypothesis is formulated to explain the origin of the basis in copepod limbs by lateral fusion of the proximal part of the original exopod and the first segment of the originally 4-segmented endopod, both rami having been attached to the coxa. This hypothesis may explain the origin of the basis in crustaceans in general. Possible ramifications of this hypothesis on the identity of limb parts and phylogenetic considerations in the Crustacea and some other arthropods are discussed.


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