The early polychelidan lobster Tetrachela raiblana and its impact on the homology of carapace grooves in decapod crustaceans

In: Contributions to Zoology
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  • 1 UMR CNRS 6118 Géosciences, Université de Rennes I, Campus de Beaulieu, avenue du général Leclerc, 35042, Rennes cedex, France
  • | 2 Department of Geology and Palaeontology, Faculty of Natural SciencesComenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • | 3 Geological-Palaeontological DepartmentNatural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • | 4 Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Centre de Recherche sur la Paléobiodiversité et les Paléoenvironnements (CR2P, UMR 7207)Sorbonne Universités, MNHN, UPMC, CNRS, 57 rue Cuvier, F-75005, Paris, France
  • | 5 E-mail:
Open Access

Polychelidan lobsters, as the sister group of Eureptantia (other lobsters and crabs), have a key-position within decapod crustaceans. Their evolutionary history is still poorly understood, although it has been proposed that their Mesozoic representatives largely inhabited shallow-marine environment and only later sought refuge in deep water. This view has recently been challenged, so the evolutionary history of polychelidans is in a need of re-appraisal. The earliest representatives, such as Tetrachela from the Late Triassic of Austria and Italy, are of great importance because of their potential in investigation of life habits of early polychelidans. Tetrachela lived in a relatively deep water, however, its well-developed eyes suggest an environment where light was still present. With its massive dorsoventrally flattened body plan, Tetrachela was probably benthic; the shape of its mandible and stocky first pereiopods suggest it was a scavenger and/or fed on slowly moving or sedentary animals. The carapace of Tetrachela has a peculiar groove pattern, which leads us to redefine some elements of the nomenclature of grooves used for polychelidans. Based on the present revision we propose that the second incision and its associated groove correspond to the hepatic groove, not the postcervical or the branchiocardiac grooves as interpreted previously. This revision allows us to review the homologies of cephalothoracic groove between polychelidans and other notable groups of decapod crustaceans.

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