Heterochrony in Gastropods

A Paleontological View
  • Dana Geary
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 7)


Fossil gastropods seem to be ideally suited for studies of heterochrony. The description and analysis of heterochrony in evolutionary sequences require a detailed understanding of the ontogeny of the organisms involved. Not only must the ontogeny be well-preserved in its entirety, but the basic parameters underlying growth must be amenable to quantitative description. In a gastropod shell, most, or frequently all, of an individual’s ontogeny is recorded. The gastropod shell grows by continued accretion of new material onto the previously existing shell, so that the form of the juvenile is generally intact and part of the adult shell. Furthermore, there is no question about which juvenile form grew into which adult form, as there might be with organisms that molt, such as ostracodes and trilobites.


Late Miocene Pannonian Basin Ontogenetic Change Land Snail Ancestral Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana Geary
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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