Myoanatomy of three aberrant kinorhynch species: similar but different?

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Aberrant kinorhynchs show several modifications deviating from the typical kinorhynch body plan, including a modified introvert with very elongated and flexible scalids, a weakly developed neck, and a slender trunk with less distinct segmentation. How these aberrant external features are reflected in the inner anatomy and how their aberrant body plan evolved are not understood. Here, we provide a comprehensive and comparative myoanatomical study of three putatively, distantly related worm-like species: Cateria styx, Franciscideres kalenesos and Zelinkaderes yong. Despite the weak external segmentation
of the trunk, the studied species show a distinct segmental arrangement of the musculature. However, this arrangement is shifted posteriorly with respect to the external segmentation, because the extremely thin and flexible cuticle is lacking the apodeme-like cuticular thickenings (pachycycli) where the longitudinal muscles usually attach. The muscular arrangement in the three species is overall similar, yet, C. styx shows most resemblance to the allomalorhagid F. kalenesos, whereas the cyclorhagid Z. yong differs in several ways. This suggests a closer relationship of C. styx to Allomalorhagida. Whereas most kinorhynchs prefer muddy sediments, both the allomalorhagid and cyclorhagid worm-like kinorhynchs are mainly found in sandy environments, suggesting that a flexible, slender body evolved at least twice independently as an adaptation to the interstitial environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalZoomorphology
Volume140
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)193–215
ISSN0720-213X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 257924905