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Free Content Settlement and Metamorphosis of the Marine Bryozoan Membranipora Membranacea

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Settlement and metamorphosis of the cyphonautes larva produced by the marine bryozoan Membranipora membranacea are examined by light and electron microscopy. Larvae can be induced to metamorphose in the laboratory by using pieces of laminarian algae or artificial seawater solutions that contain a 10 mM excess of potassium ions. During the first phase of metamorphosis, the larva contracts its striated muscles to evert its internal sac, and adhesive granules secreted by the everted sac cement the larva to the substratum. Subsequently, the attached larva flattens itself by contracting its non-striated sac muscles. Within a few minutes after the onset of metamorphosis, the preancestrula stage is reached, as the edges of the internal sac fuse with the neighboring margins of the aboral body wall. The second phase of metamorphosis occurs over a period of 3–4 days and results in the gradual transformation of the preancestrula into a twin ancestrula that contains two feeding zooids.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1989

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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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