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Free Content Dynamics of Plate Growth in the Deep-Sea Echinoid Pourtalesia Miranda Agassiz: A New Architectural Interpretation

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A complete size distribution of Pourtalesia miranda from a newly-metamorphosed stage (0.8 mm length) to an adult of 22 mm was examined in order to describe growth and relative movements of the test plates during development of the echinoid (i.e., the architectural growth processes). An ontogenic series leading from the radially symmetrical post-larval echinoid to the bilaterally symmetrical adult with a nonpentaradiate arrangement of plates, was used. During growth, interambulacrum 5 is progressively broken into 2 parts by the rotation of the plates of the posterior ambulacra towards the longitudinal axis of symmetry. This process is linked with the widening of the sternal plates. The pattern of development leads to an architectural pattern different from that proposed by Loven (1883). The new pattern is proven 1) by the ontogeny of plate form 2) by the interplate relationships during growth. It is compared with the design of the water vascular system.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1987-01-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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