, Volume 51, Issue 1-4, pp 60-65
Date: 26 May 2005

Spirula—a window to the embryonic development of ammonoids? Morphological and molecular indications for a palaeontological hypothesis

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Nautilus is not suitable as a model organism to infer biological functions, embryonic development, or mode of life in ammonoids. A brief review of the available morphological data is given and molecular data are added to discuss the usefulness of Spirula as a biological proxy for ammonoids. Indeed, there are many morphological hints indicating that Spirula could be a useful model organism for approaching the embryonic development of ammonoids. The molecular data seem to support this hypothesis. However, a universal model character of Spirula cannot be detected as, e.g., the mode of feeding probably differs between Spirula and ammonoids.