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1 February 2007 A Developmental Basis for the Cambrian Radiation
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As extant bilaterian phyla emerged during the Lower Cambrian, these clades acquired morphological features that separated them from their stem groups. At the same time, morphological variants on the body plan within a phylum emerged that we recognize as classes and subphyla. In many cases, the emergence of body plan variants within a phylum is associated with major changes in patterns of early regional specification. Subsequently these different patterns of regional specification were stabilized, probably because later developmental events depended on them. As a consequence, the frequency of new body plan variants involving early development declined in these lineages at later periods during their history. This hypothesis is explicated here by examining the process of early regional specification in the different subphyla of brachiopods and in pairs of species from the same subphylum belonging to different clades that originated during the Jurassic, Ordovician, and Lower Cambrian.
and Gary Freeman "A Developmental Basis for the Cambrian Radiation," Zoological Science 24(2), (1 February 2007).
Received: 12 July 2006; Accepted: 1 October 2006; Published: 1 February 2007

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