We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Ecological change and convergence; morphospace of suspension feeding tentaculate metazoans through deep time

DHUNGANA, ALAVYA (2021) Ecological change and convergence; morphospace of suspension feeding tentaculate metazoans through deep time. Masters thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 06 September 2024.


A diverse set of taxa such as brachiopods, bryozoans, annelids, echinoderms, hemichordates and phoronids, have sub-cylindrical, often ciliated, suspension-feeding structures, here referred to as tentacles. Theoretical models and simulations of these tentacles imply they may be optimised either to maximise flow or interception with suspended food particles. However, no quantitative studies have compared tentacles across phyla, explored how their morphology may be influenced by ecological niche, or tracked how these structures have changed through deep time in different phylogenetic lineages. This study demonstrates the morphological changes in suspension feeders resulting from different ecological conditions in the Cambrian and the Recent. I show that the tentacular morphology of different ecological categories (motility, tiering, feeding, coloniality and phyla) do overlap in places, but may also segregate in distinct regions, suggesting the influence of these factors on the tentacular morphology. Further, the tentacular structures of Cambrian brachiopods, phoronids, entoprocts and hemichordates are more similar to one another than to the tentacles of extant representatives of those phyla. I suggest that different aspects of the striking cross-phylum convergence are due to changes in the constitution of phytoplankton, energy availability and ecological changes through deep time.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Keywords:Evolution, Ecology, Cambrian
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Earth Sciences, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Sep 2021 13:57

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter