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UNIQUE EXPERIMENT IN FOUR-PLATEDNESS BY A MIOCENE BARNACLE (CIRRIPEDIA: BALANIDAE) THAT DARWIN CONSIDERED IMPROBABLE

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The number of wall plates and the manner in which they articulate or fuse to one another are major criteria in the systematics of balanomorph barnacles. Zulloa imperialensis, a new genus and species of balanid from the Imperial Formation of Late Miocene age at Yuha Buttes, Imperial County, California, represents an unprecedented experiment in the reduction from 6 to 4 wall plates. During ontogeny in this species, the second pair of carinolatera fuses with the carina forming a compound plate, a combination that Charles Darwin considered possible but improbable. Why the reduction occurred and why the experiment failed likely relates to environmental factors, but why it involved this unique combination of wall plates remains conjectural. In general, the reduction from 6 to 4 plates in various lineages has been a gradual rather than a saltational process, as is evident here.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724096x00748
1996-01-01
2016-12-08

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