It is quite possible that the characters of the nematocysts might afford data as useful to the systematist in this group as do the spicules of sponges, for instance.
Genital duct triaulic. Spicules present in the mantle.
Body elongated; visceral mass marked off from foot posteriorly; dorsal appendages absent, or reduced to a single pair; spicules in the integument.
The mouth is terminal and anterior and surrounded by a ring of spicules or a half-ring of hooks.
The limestones contain Globigerina and other Foraminifera, the siliceous beds are made of Radiolaria, sponge spicules and diatoms, while the red clay closely resembles the red clay of the deepest parts of the oceans.
The Ctenostomata are ill adapted for preservation as fossils, though remains referred to this group have been 1 Calcareous spicules have been described by Lomas in Alcyonidium gelatinosum.
Green mud differs to a greater extent from the blue mud, and owes its characteristic nature and colour to the presence of glauconite, which is formed inside the cases of foraminifera, the spines of echini and the spicules of sponges in a manner not yet understood.
The metameric repetition of the shellplates and of the ctenidia are probably special modifications, but it is difficult to explain the spicules of the dorsal integument except as a condition more primitive than the shell itself.
The chief points in which the Aplacophora differ from the Polyplacophora are: (1) they are worm-like in shape; (2) there is no distinct foot, and the mantle bears no shell-valves, but only numerous calcareous spicules; (3) the digestive tube is straight.
The cuticle, in some species very thick, contains numerous spicules which are long, hollow and calcified; they are secreted by epithelial papillae.
The ectoderm behind the ciliated ring develops spicules, and the post-oral region of the larva elongates.
Later the ciliated ring or velum disappears and seven imbricated calcareous plates, made up of flattened spicules, are formed on the dorsal surface.
Slender, tapering behind, with subventral cloacal orifice; thin cuticle without papillae; flattened spicules; no gills.
Elongated, cylindrical, rounded at both ends; thick cuticle with acicular spicules; radula polystichous or wanting.
And although embryology seems to prove that the Neomeniomorphs are derived from forms with a series of shell-valves, nevertheless it seems probable that the calcareous spicules which alone are present in adult Aplacophora preceded the solid shell in evolution.
Sponges are represented by spicules and anchor ropes.
In addition to the spicular skeleton an organic horny skeleton is frequently present, either in the form of a horny external investment (Cornularia), or an internal axis (Gorgonia), or it may form a matrix in which spicules are imbedded (Keroeides, Melitodes).
St, Stomodaeum in the centre of the transparent body; m, mesenteries; asm, asulcar mesenteries; B, spicules, enlarged.
In the Tubiporidae the spicules of the proximal part of the body-wall are fused together to form a firm tube, the corallite, into which the distal part of the zooid can be retracted.
The skeleton of the Alcyonacea consists of separate calcareous spicules, which are often, especially in the Nephthyidae, so abundant and so closely interlocked as to form a tolerably firm and hard armour.
The medullary portion is densely crowded with spicules of different shape from those in the cortex, and in some forms the spicules are cemented together to form a hard supporting axis.
The calcareous skeleton of the Pennatulacea consists of scattered spicules, but in one species, Protocaulon molle, spicules are absent.
The order Coenothecalia is represented by a single living species, Heliopora coerulea, which differs from all recent Alcyonaria in the fact that its skeleton is not composed of spicules, but is formed as a secretion from a layer of cells called calicoblasts, which originate from the ectoderm.
It is formed, not from fused spicules, but as a secretion of a special layer of cells derived from the basal ectoderm, and known as calicoblasts.
The calcareous skeleton, which may be entirely absent, is usually in the form of minute spicules, sometimes of small irregular plates with no trace of a calycinal or apical system; to these is added a ring of pieces radiately arranged round the oesophagus.
Spicules of sponges and fragments of other organisms, such as molluscs, polyzoa, foraminifera and brachiopods, often occur in flint, and may be partly or wholly silicified with retention of their original structure.
The oldest known Diatoms are represented by some specimens found entangled in the spicules of a Liassic sponge, and identified by Rothpletz as species of the recent genus Pyxidicula.