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Opal Precipitation by Marine Gastropods (Mollusca)

Lowenstam, Heinz A. (1971) Opal Precipitation by Marine Gastropods (Mollusca). Science, 171 (3970). pp. 487-490. ISSN 0036-8075.

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The high silicon content of certain radular sites of the Patellacea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) is shown by infrared absorption spectrums to be fixed in the form of the mineral opal. Opal and goethite mineralize the cusps and bases of the teeth. The presence of opalized base plates only in the families Acmaeidae and Lepetidae appears to be of taxonomic significance. Minimum values of the volume of fixation and of the turnover rate of opal by the Patellacea are calculated to assess the role of this previously neglected taxon in biological fixation of silica in the oceans. The significance of these organisms points to the much needed study of the silica transport system in tissue-grade Metazoa.

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Additional Information:© 1971 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 25 August 1970; revised 27 October 1970. Contribution No. 1904 from the Division of Geological Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Supported by NSF grant GB-6707Xl. I thank Drs. H. Lemche and J. H. Macpherson for samples of certain species; Dr. C. Hubbs or facilitating my participation in the Magdalena Bay Expedition; Dr. J. E. Smith for providing me with space and collection at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory; M. Dekkers and E. Bingham for technical assistance; and G. G. Rossman for taking the infrared spectrometer spectrums and for discussing their interpretation.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences1904
Issue or Number:3970
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151110-141520348
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Official Citation:Opal Precipitation by Marine Gastropods (Mollusca) Heinz A. Lowenstam Science 5 February 1971: 171 (3970), 487-490. [DOI:10.1126/science.171.3970.487]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62032
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Nov 2015 21:18
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:14

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