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Reinterpretation of crinoid platyceratid interaction

Rollins, H.B.; Brezinski, D.K.

Lethaia 21(3): 207-217

1988


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-1164
DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.1988.tb02072.x
Accession: 006292886

The well-known of platyceratid gastropods with crinoids has tranditionally been considered an example of coprophagous commensalism. The occurrence of several crinoid 'stands' (Platycrinites sp.) from closely spaced bedding surfaces in the upper Mississippian Wymps Gap Limestone member of the Mauch Chunk Formation of southwestern Pennsylvania [USA] encourages reinterpretation of this relationship. Crinoid calkyces were collected from five separate clusters, two of which contained associated platyceratids. Crinoid calyces were collected from five separate clusters, two of which contained associated platyceratids. 'Infested' crinoids either died prematurely or were stunted, compared to crinoids in the 'uninfested' clusters. Platyceratid attachment apparently had an adverse effect upon crinoid growth. Serial acetate peels show positioning of the gastropod on the crinoid tegmen over a highly developed anal tube, or chimney. However, the terminus of the anal tube abuts the gastropod's shell and is poorly situated for fecal ingestion by the snail. We suggest that the snail probably pursued another trophic strategy, perhaps taking advantage of aerosol filtration by the crinoid and elevation above the substrate.

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