The functional morphology of the abyssal Limopsis cristata (Arcoida: Limopsidae) with a discussion on the evolution of the more advanced bivalve foot
The bivalve Limopsis cristata pursues a semi‐endobenthic life in abyssal soft sediments. It attaches to particles by up to three byssal threads and filter feeds by inhaling water from posterior and anterior directions. Because of partial burial, however, only the latter is functionally significant. Complex ciliary currents in the mantle cavity concerned with the rejection of unwanted particles keep most material out of the simplified intestine. It is generally considered that the ligament is the constraining force in arcoid evolution. This may be true in part, but the lack of pallial fusions and the retention of anterior and posterior inhalant flows are more powerful limits to radiation in the Arcoida. In the deep sea, the Limopsidae has radiated into many micro‐niches through micro‐morphological adaptations. Loss of the arcoid ‘heel’ has resulted in the union of the separate rejectory currents of the visceral mass and foot, creating a single discharge point in more advanced bivalves. This greatly simplifies the rejectory roles of the visceral mass and foot and is thus of functional and selective advantage.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2013