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Keeping a lid on it: muscle scars and the mystery of theMobergellidae
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7366-7680
2017 (English)In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4082, E-ISSN 1096-3642, Vol. 180, 717-731 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mobergellans were one of the first Cambrian skeletal groups to be recognized yet have long remained one of the mostproblematic in terms of biological function and affinity. Characterized by a disc-shaped, phosphatic sclerite, the mostdistinctive character of the group is a prominent set of internal scars, interpreted as representing sites of former muscleattachment. Predominantly based on muscle scar distribution, mobergellans have been compared to brachiopods,bivalves and monoplacophorans; however, a recurring theory that the sclerites acted as an operculum remains untested.Rather than correlate the number of muscle scars between taxa, here we focus on the percentage of the inner surfaceshell area that the scars constitute. We investigate two mobergellan species, Mobergella holsti and Discinella micans,and compare the Cambrian taxa with the muscle scars of a variety of extant and fossil marine invertebrate taxa to testwhether the mobergellan muscle attachment area is compatible with an interpretation as operculum. The only skeletalelements in our study with a comparable muscle attachment percentage are gastropod opercula. Complemented withadditional morphological information, our analysis supports the theory that mobergellan sclerites acted as an operculumpresumably from a tube-living organism. The paucity of tubes co-occurring with mobergellan sclerites could beexplained by the transportation and sorting of detached opercula, while the corresponding tube remained attached tosubstrata in shallower water. The operculum perhaps performed a similar role to that seen in serpulid annelids and inneritid gastropods sealing the living chamber of the organism to avoid desiccation or for protection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 180, 717-731 p.
Keyword [en]
Discinella – Mobergella – Cambrian – Annelida – Brachiopoda – Mollusca – operculum
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2465OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2465DiVA: diva2:1147105
Projects
Ett grunt ursprung
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR2016-04610
Available from: 2017-10-04 Created: 2017-10-04 Last updated: 2017-10-04

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