Crystallographic control of the fabrication of an extremely sophisticated shell surface microornament in the glass scallop Catillopecten.

Checa, Antonio G 
Salas, Carmen 
Varela-Feria, Francisco M 
Rodríguez-Navarro, Alejandro B 
Grenier, Christian 

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The external surface microornament of the glass scallops Catillopecten natalyae and malyutinae is made by calcitic spiny projections consisting of a stem that later divides into three equally spaced and inclined branches (here called aerials). C. natalyae contains larger and smaller aerials, whereas C. malyutinae only secreted aerials of the second type. A remarkable feature is that aerials within each type are fairly similar in size and shape and highly co-oriented, thus constituting a most sophisticated microornament. We demonstrate that aerials are single crystals whose morphology is strongly controlled by the crystallography, with the stem being parallel to the c-axis of calcite, and the branches extending along the edges of the {104} calcite rhombohedron. They grow epitaxially onto the foliated prisms of the outer shell layer. The co-orientation of the prisms explains that of the aerials. We have developed a model in which every aerial grows within a periostracal pouch. When this pouch reaches the growth margin, the mantle initiates the production of the aerial. Nevertheless, later growth of the aerial is remote, i.e. far from the contact with the mantle. We show how such an extremely sophisticated microornament has a morphology and co-orientation which are determined by crystal growth.

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Animals, Bivalvia, Calcium Carbonate, Crystallization, Crystallography, Pectinidae
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (CGL2017-85118-P, CGL2017-85118-P, CGL2017-85118-P, PID2020-116660GB-I00, CGL2017-85118-P, CGL2017-85118-P)
Universidad de Granada (UCE-PP2016-05, UCE-PP2016-05, UCE-PP2016-05)
Consejería de Economía, Innovación, Ciencia y Empleo, Junta de Andalucía (RNM363, RNM363)
Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (13.1902.21.001)