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Xyloplax turnerae male

Xyloplax turnerae is a species of sea daisy described as enigmatic, and was classified by Baker, Rowe, and Clark in 1988; two years after the trio classified the Xyloplax medusiformis which became the first Xyloplax to be discribed. The Xyloplax turnerae closely resembles the X. medusiformis.

Appearance Edit

Xyloplax turnerae is shaped like a flattened disc and is fringed by a row of short spines which are all of approximately equal length in the range 300–400 μm. The aboral (upper) surface is clad in a series of concentric plates each bearing three spines. The tube feet have rounded bulbous tips. On the oral (lower) side the mouth leads to an eversible stomach but there is no gut or anus. There is a single row of tube feet circling the mouth and these number up to 110  while X. medusiformis has fewer than 65. The females grow to about 12 millimetres (0.47 in) in diameter and the males to 7 millimetres (0.28 in). All the embryos found in the females were small, less than 180 μm in diameter, and it seems unlikely that this species broods its young in the same way that X. medusiformis does. The marginal spines are mobile and are disproportionally longer in smaller individuals than they are in larger ones. It is thought that juveniles may use them to "parachute" and that this may aid in their dispersal.

Sources Edit

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