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Popov, L.E., Bassett, M.G. & Holmer, L.E. 2012: Earliest ontogeny of Early Palaeozoic Craniiformea: compelling evidence for lecithotrophy. Lethaia, Vol. 45, pp. 566–573.

The early ontogeny of Palaeozoic Craniiformea (Brachiopoda) remains controversial, with conflicting reports of evidence indicating lecithotrophic versus planktotrophic larval stages. Further compelling evidence for lecithotrophy in Palaeozoic craniiforms is described here. Newly obtained, well-preserved Silurian specimens of craniiforms, including Craniops (Craniopsida), and Lepidocrania? and Orthisocrania (Craniida) from Gotland and the St. Petersburg region, form the basis for this study. The new material demonstrates that the characters of shell structure and shell formation provide evidence of early differentiation of an adult dorsal mantle, and the presence of a distinctive primary layer with a characteristic lath-like pattern indicates that these craniiforms underwent a lecithotrophic larval stage, more or less identical to that of living. □Novocrania. Brachiopoda, Craniiformea, ontogeny, phylogeny, Early Palaeozoic.