Skip to main content

Unique Mg-calcite skeletal ultrastructure in the tube of the serpulid polychaete Ditrupa

Buy Article:

$39.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The tube wall in Ditrupa is composed of two layers of Mg-calcite. The outer, hyaline layer has a unique type of ultrastructure, unknown in other invertebrate skeletons, here termed regularly ridged prismatic structure (RRP). This structure is characterized by ridged lateral surfaces of the prisms, which interlock the prisms. RRP structure exclusively characterises the genus Ditrupa and had already evolved in the Eocene D. strangulata and Miocene D. gracillima. The ridges of RRP structure could have a shell strengthening function in that the prism surfaces tightly interlock, which could have given a mechanically stronger structure by binding individual crystallites. RRP structure could have evolved as an adaptation to the unattached life style, with the ability to move around, which could have placed an increased demand on the tube's mechanical properties. This complicated tube structure cannot be explained by the usual serpulid mineralization system in which calcareous granules from calcium-secreting glands are transported to the tube aperture and solidify in contact with seawater. In Ditrupa, mineralization must be directly cell controlled.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-04-01

More about this publication?
  • Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie continuously publishes current original contributions from all fields of geology, ever since its foundation in 1807. All published contributions are in the English language.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more