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Free Content Systematics and Zoogeography of Thalamoporella Gothica and its Allied Species (Bryozoa, Cheilostomata)

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Thalamoporella gothica and its allied species are anascan cheilostome bryozoans which are distributed along subtidal, continental margins from the eastern Pacific, through the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, to the western Pacific. In the past, species within the T. gothica complex were thought to be only regional forms, and were treated as subspecies. However our examination of the group, and the consideration of newly collected material, has revealed at least five distinct species. While they are similar in general appearance, and share the same type of acutely shaped avicularium, they differ in a variety of other characters. The result is a new classification of this complex and a description of a new species from the Indian Ocean. The dispersal capabilities of Thalamoporella bryozoans are discussed and related to the distribution of the T. gothica complex. It is hypothesized that ancestral thalamoporellids were dispersed during the Tertiary through the Tethyan seaway and that they became isolated by subsequent tectonic events. The resulting speciation created the present complex which, while including the only two Thalamoporella taxa in the eastern Pacific, is not represented from the islands of the mid-Pacific.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1989-09-01

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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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