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A New Cirolanid Isopod (Crustacea) from the Cretaceous of Lebanon: Dermoliths Document the Pre-Molt Condition

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Abstract Discovery of a single specimen of cirolanid isopod from the Late Cretaceous of Lebanon permits definition of a new species, Cirolana garassinoi. Preservation with the ventral surface exposed is unique among isopod fossils. The evidence of a thin, apparently transparent cuticle and three pairs of dermoliths suggests that the specimen died while in the pre-molt condition. The ability to sequester calcium and possibly other mineral salts in a marine isopod may indicate a preadaptation to terrestrial lifestyles where the process is common in extant forms.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242


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