Mar 20, 2013

Evolutionary morphology of the hemolymph vascular system in hermit and king crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomala)

Journal of Morphology
Jonas KeilerChristian S Wirkner


The morphological transformation of hermit crabs into crab-like king crabs in the evolution of decapod crustaceans represents a remarkable case of carcinization or evolutionary shaping into a crab-like form. In this study, we focus on internal organs such as the hemolymph vascular system and adjacent anatomical structures of several Recent hermit crab (Paguridae) and king crab (Lithodidae) species. There are various correspondences in the morphology of the arterial systems in the dorsal cephalothorax of the two taxa, especially with regard to the anterior aorta, anterior lateral arteries, and hepatic arteries. In the pleon, the posterior aorta in both taxa displays a proximal bifurcation and follows an asymmetrical course. The ventral vessel system, on the other hand, which mainly supplies the limbs, differs significantly between the taxa, with pagurids displaying the plesiomorphic condition. The pattern of the ventral vessel system in Lithodidae is influenced by morphological transformations of integumental structures during carcinization. One of these transformations was the broadening of the sternites, which resulted in a widening of the space between the endosternites. In addition, changes in the morphology of the endophrag...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Arterial System
Chaceon affinis
Class crustacea
Anatomic Structures
Cardiovascular System
Cancer Genus

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