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Structural organisation of the cusps of the radular teeth of the chiton Plaxiphora albida

Macey, D.J., Brooker, L.R., Webb, J. and St Pierre, T.G. (1996) Structural organisation of the cusps of the radular teeth of the chiton Plaxiphora albida. Acta Zoologica, 77 (4). pp. 287-294.

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The structure, morphology and organisation of the cusps of the major lateral radula teeth of the chiton Plaxiphora albida have been examined using light, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, together with energy dispersive X-ray analysis and Mossbauer spectroscopy. In this chiton species, both the anterior and posterior surfaces of the major lateral teeth are composed of magnetite, which is indicated to be non-stoichiometric and associated with some maghemile, together with small amounts of phosphorus and silicon. This outer layer surrounds an inner core region of the tooth, which only reaches the surface through a small window zone on the anterior surface and which contains large amounts of iron and phosphorus presumably in the form of iron(III) phosphate. The organic matrix, on which the teeth are constructed, consists of a zone of densely packed fine fibres at the surface of the tooth, underlain by larger fibres which become sparser deeper into the cusp. The core region is characterized by the presence of densely packed short fibres. In contrast to the situation found in most other species of chiton, large fibres of the organic matrix extend throughout the region of magnetite mineralization, leading to the suggestion that the matrix exerts more control over the mineralization of magnetite than has previously been thought.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Copyright: (c) Blackwell Publishing
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