Gradual evolutionary transformations of ontogeny in an Ordovician ostracod lineage



Carapace morphology was studied biometrically for each instar in a series of populations of Mojczella Olempska 1988 from the Ordovician strata exposed in Mójcza, Holy Cross Mountains, Poland. Phosphatic coatings of ostracod valves occur there in abundance from the top of the Arenig to the Late Caradoc. The lineage shows smooth acceleration in ontogenetic expression of the junction of crests C1 and C3, which originally were separated throughout the ontogeny, while in the latest populations the separation was preserved only in the earliest moult stage. Moreover, the velar structure, being originally developed as a wide, slightly convex, flange-like dolon in heteromorphs, became transformed into a convex dolon.