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Effect of Calcification on Cuticle Density in Decapods: A Key to Lifestyle

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Abstract Measurement of density and thickness of cuticle of an array of decapod crustaceans indicates that cuticle tends to be thick and dense in benthic organisms and thinner and less dense in nektobenthic decapods. Thin section analysis of the cuticle under crossed polarized light documents a broad range of area of biomineralization. Cuticle density is strongly correlated with area of calcification. One of the nektobenthic decapods in the study exhibited no calcification of the cuticle at all, and thus exhibited the lowest density. These data support the hypothesis that density and thickness of cuticle contribute to adaptation to benthic and nektobenthic lifestyles.

Affiliations: 1: a (CGA, DAW, RMF) Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242 ( ; 2: b (CES) Department of Geology, Kent State University Stark Campus, 6000 Frank Avenue NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720 (


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