Comparative analysis of the ontogeny of representatives of two sister taxa (Cladocera and Cyclestherida) showed that the paedomorphic morphology of cladocerans (the small number of thoracic segments and segments of branches of antennae II, and the reduction of the carapace) was caused by the cessation of development of the somatic structures at early larval stages of ontogeny. It is demonstrated that this stop is not associated with the accelerated development of the reproductive system (progenesis), since it takes place long prior to the beginning of reproduction. In accordance with this fact, the past hypotheses that cladocerans evolved from the reproducing larvae of the ancestral form or that they are early maturing metanauplii should be recognized as erroneous. Cyclestheria. The origin of Cladocera from a Cyclestheria-like ancestor should be regarded as neotenic, taking into consideration the extended interpretation of this term.
Biology Bulletin – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2018
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