Biomineralization in cephalopod statocysts in unusual in that ions are secreted into a comparatively large volume of fluid before deposition, rather than being secreted by a membrane applied to the mineralized structure. Ionic composition of statocyst fluid in the squid Alloteuthis
subulata is similar to that of blood with the exception of magnesium which has a concentration about 1% of that found in its blood and in seawater. Higher levels inhibit calcification. Natural statocyst fluid inhibits precipitation of calcium carbonate in an artificial statocyst fluid
in dilutions of 1:1,000 by increasing the time required for nucleation and slowing the precipitation rate. Preliminary indications of an organic component that reversibly polymerizes with increased pH, together with data on the ionic composition of the statocyst fluid, suggests possible mechanisms
by which “diurnal” growth increments are formed in molluscs.
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