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Anamika Publishers & Distributors, 2007 - History - 559 pages
Excerpt: ...Among them a few more or less slender, smooth amphioxi occur, but these are probably immature spicules. The length and curvature of the amphistrongyli varies considerably, but the average measurements are about 0.28 x 0.024 mm. The flesh-spicules also vary greatly in length and in the degree to which their shafts are curved. At first sight it seems to be possible to separate them into two categories, one in which the shaft is about 0.159 mm. long, and another in which it is only 0.05 mm. or even less; and groups of birotulates of approximately the same length often occur in the interstices of the skeleton. Spicules of all intermediate lengths can, however, be found. The average diameter of the shaft is 0.0026 mm. and of the rotula 0.0106 mm., and the rotula consists of from 6 to 8 spines. The gemmule-spicules vary greatly in size, the longest measuring about 0.08 x 0.014 and the smallest about 0.034 x 0.007 or even less. There appears to be in their case an even more distinct separation as regards size than there is in that of the flesh-spicules; but here again intermediate forms occur. They are all stout, more or less blunt, and more or less regularly covered with very short spines; most of them are distinctly curved, but some are quite straight. Gemmules. The gemmules are firmly adherent to the support of the sponge, at the base of which they are congregated in groups of four or more. They vary considerably in size and shape, many of them being asymmetrical and some elongate and sausage-shaped. The latter consist of single gemmules and not of a pair in one case. Extreme forms measure 0.38 x 0.29 and 0.55 x 0.25. Each gemmule is covered with a thick chitinous membrane in close contact with its wall and surrounding it completely. This membrane is full of spicules arranged as in a mosaic; most or all of them belong to the smaller type, and as a rule they are fairly uniform in size. Separated from this layer by a considerable interval is another...

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