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PARASITISM VERSUS COMMENSALISM: THE CASE OF TABULATE ENDOBIONTS

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Abstract: 

Tube-like traces of organisms belonging to the ichnogenus Chaetosalpinx Sokolov have been considered in the literature as commensal endobiontic organisms of tabulate corals. Their position between the corallites (or sometimes within the septa), perforation of the host's skeleton and soft tissue, modification of its phenotype and a possible inhibition of its growth show that the relationship between these organisms and tabulate corals can best be interpreted as parasitism rather than commensalism, as previously suggested. Such an interpretation may be extended to the ichnogenera Helicosalpinx Oekentorp and Actinosalpinx Sokolov, which show identical placement within the host colony and similar features, such as the absence of their own wall.
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Keywords: Anthozoa; Tabulata; commensalism; corals; palaeoecology; parasitism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2007

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