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Ontogenetic change and intra-specific variation of shell morphology in the Cretaceous nautiloid (Cephalopoda, Mollusca) Eutrephoceras clementinum (d'Orbigny, 1840) from the Ariyalur area, southern India

  • Ryoji Wani (a1) and Krishnan Ayyasami (a2)

Abstract

Morphometric analyses of shell morphology in the Cretaceous nautiloid Eutrephoceras clementinum (d'Orbigny, 1840) (Cephalopoda, Mollusca) from the Ariyalur area, southern India, reveal ontogenetic change from hatching to maturity as well as intra-specific variation in shell morphology. the shell breadth has a negative allometric relationship with shell diameter and with whorl height, and the umbilicus diameter has a positive allometric relationship with shell diameter. This shows that shell shape became relatively thinner with less variation, and the umbilicus diameter became relatively broader with growth. the siphuncle position moves from a dorso-central to ventro-central position with growth. A constriction was recognized on the early whorl at 20 mm in shell diameter, and the interval angles of succeeding septa were changed at the 8th septum, indicating that they hatched at this stage. the bending of umbilical walls of apertures toward the center of coiling suggests that E. clementinum attained maturity at about 115 mm in shell diameter. the comparison of the shell morphology of E. clementinum with that of E. bouchardianum (d'Orbigny, 1840) reported in the literature clarifies their difference in whorl shape and umbilical size, especially in the adult stage. This kind of morphometric study of nautiloids is essential for elucidating their adaptive designs for environment and mode of life, functional shell morphology, taxonomy, phylogeny, and evolution.

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Journal of Paleontology
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