UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Deciphering the fossil record of early bilaterian embryonic development in light of experimental taphonomy


Gostling, N J; Thomas, C W; Greenwood, J M; Dong, X; Bengtson, S; Raff, E C; Raff, R A; Degnan, B M; Stampanoni, M; Donoghue, P C J (2008). Deciphering the fossil record of early bilaterian embryonic development in light of experimental taphonomy. Evolution and Development, 10(3):339-349.

Abstract

Experimental analyses of decay in a tunicate deuterostome and three lophotrochozoans indicate that the controls on decay and preservation of embryos, identified previously based on echinoids, are more generally applicable. Four stages of decay are identified regardless of the environment of death and decay. Embryos decay rapidly in oxic and anoxic conditions, although the gross morphology of embryos is maintained for longer under anoxic conditions. Under anoxic reducing conditions, the gross morphology of the embryos is maintained for the longest period of time, compatible with the timescale required for bacterially mediated mineralization of soft tissues. All four stages of decay were encountered under all environmental conditions, matching the spectrum of preservational qualities encountered in all fossil embryo assemblages. The preservation potential of embryos of deuterostomes and lophotrochozoans is at odds with the lack of such embryos in the fossil record. Rather, the fossil record of embryos, as sparse as it is, is dominated by forms interpreted as ecdysozoans, cnidarians, and stem-metazoans. The dearth of deuterostome and lophotrochozoan embryos may be explained by the fact that ecdysozoans, at least, tend to deposit their eggs in the sediment rather than through broadcast spawning. However, fossil embryos remain very rare and the main controlling factor on their fossilization may be the unique conspiracy of environmental conditions at a couple of sites. The preponderance of fossilized embryos of direct developers should not be used in evidence against the existence of indirect development at this time in animal evolutionary history.

Abstract

Experimental analyses of decay in a tunicate deuterostome and three lophotrochozoans indicate that the controls on decay and preservation of embryos, identified previously based on echinoids, are more generally applicable. Four stages of decay are identified regardless of the environment of death and decay. Embryos decay rapidly in oxic and anoxic conditions, although the gross morphology of embryos is maintained for longer under anoxic conditions. Under anoxic reducing conditions, the gross morphology of the embryos is maintained for the longest period of time, compatible with the timescale required for bacterially mediated mineralization of soft tissues. All four stages of decay were encountered under all environmental conditions, matching the spectrum of preservational qualities encountered in all fossil embryo assemblages. The preservation potential of embryos of deuterostomes and lophotrochozoans is at odds with the lack of such embryos in the fossil record. Rather, the fossil record of embryos, as sparse as it is, is dominated by forms interpreted as ecdysozoans, cnidarians, and stem-metazoans. The dearth of deuterostome and lophotrochozoan embryos may be explained by the fact that ecdysozoans, at least, tend to deposit their eggs in the sediment rather than through broadcast spawning. However, fossil embryos remain very rare and the main controlling factor on their fossilization may be the unique conspiracy of environmental conditions at a couple of sites. The preponderance of fossilized embryos of direct developers should not be used in evidence against the existence of indirect development at this time in animal evolutionary history.

Citations

16 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:22 Jan 2009 07:59
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:51
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1520-541X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-142X.2008.00242.x
Official URL:http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/119422122/PDFSTART
PubMed ID:18460095

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations