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Remodelling of the vertebral axis during metamorphic shrinkage in the pearlfish

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Body shortening was observed in the pearlfish Carapus homei during metamorphosis. The tenuis larva at first possessed a suite of osseous vertebral bodies of similar length. The reduction in both the number and size of vertebrae followed increasing decalcification, degeneration of organic tissue and shortening. This involved a complete degradation and disappearance of the caudal tip vertebrae, and there was a reduction in the size of most of the remaining vertebrae. The further development of the vertebrae began with ossification of the neural and haemal arches before that of the vertebral body. This second part of the development followed a gradient: a gradual decreases towards the caudal tip in the size of the vertebrae and their completeness.
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Keywords: Carapus; development; metamorphosis; tenuis; vertebrae

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Centre de Biologie et d’Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, Université de Perpignan, ESA CNRS 8046, 52, avenue de Villeneuve, 66 860 Perpignan Cedex, France 2: Laboratory of Functional and Evolutive Morphology, Bat. of Chemistry B6, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium and

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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