Save

A possible 150 million years old cirripede crustacean nauplius and the phenomenon of giant larvae

In: Contributions to Zoology
Authors:
,
Christina Nagler Department of Biology Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Großhaderner Straße 2 82152 Planegg-Martinsried Germany
E-mail: christina.nagler@palaeo-evo-devo.info

Search for other papers by Christina Nagler in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Jens T. Høeg Department of Biology University of Copenhagen Universitetsparken 15 2100 Copenhagen Denmark

Search for other papers by Jens T. Høeg in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Carolin Haug Department of Biology Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Großhaderner Straße 2 82152 Planegg-Martinsried Germany
GeoBio-Center Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Richard-Wagner-Straße 10 80333 Munich Germany

Search for other papers by Carolin Haug in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Joachim T. Haug Department of Biology Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Großhaderner Straße 2 82152 Planegg-Martinsried Germany
GeoBio-Center Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Richard-Wagner-Straße 10 80333 Munich Germany

Search for other papers by Joachim T. Haug in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Open Access

The larval phase of metazoans can be interpreted as a discrete post-embryonic period. Larvae have been usually considered to be small, yet some metazoans possess unusually large larvae, or giant larvae. Here, we report a possible case of such a giant larva from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Lithographic limestones (150 million years old, southern Germany), most likely representing an immature cirripede crustacean (barnacles and their relatives). The single specimen was documented with up-to-date imaging methods (macro-photography, stereo-photography, fluorescence photography, composite imaging) and compared with modern cirripede larvae. The identification is based on two conspicuous spine-like extensions in the anterior region of the specimen strongly resembling the so-called fronto-lateral horns, structures exclusively known from cirripede nauplius larvae. Notably, at 5 mm in length the specimen is unusually large for a cirripede nauplius. We therefore consider it to be a giant larva and discuss possible ecological and physiological mechanisms leading to the appearance of giant larvae in other lineages. Further findings of fossil larvae and especially nauplii might give new insights into larval evolution and plankton composition in the past.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 214 29 2
PDF Views & Downloads 441 102 3