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Variable growth modes in Late Cretaceous ammonoids: implications for diverse early life histories

  • Kazato Arai (a1) and Ryoji Wani (a2)

Abstract

Examination of ontogenetic changes in the septal angle of Late Cretaceous ammonoids (ten species representing seven superfamilies and four suborders) reveals four patterns: 1) a single abrupt change in septal angle; 2) two abrupt changes in septal angle; 3) cyclic fluctuations in septal angle throughout ontogeny; and 4) an almost constant septal angle throughout ontogeny. These various septal-angle patterns in Late Cretaceous ammonoids are in contrast with modern and fossil nautiloids, which have the common pattern displaying a single abrupt change in septal angles. Although the abrupt change of septal angles in nautiloids corresponds with the hatching event from the egg, change of septal angles in the examined ammonoids is hypothesized to correspond not to hatching but to the change from a planktic to a nektobenthic habit demarcated by the post-embryonic stage. Therefore, the variable patterns of septal angles within ammonoids suggest a diverse set of early life histories.

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