An Illustrated and Cross-Referenced Glossary of
Malacological and Conchological Terms

by Paul S. Mikkelsen

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Term Definition

PAEDOMORPHOSIS   The principle by Garstang, which promotes "escape from specialization" by attainment of sexual maturity in a larval condition. This has brought much-needed support to the annelid theory of molluscan ancestors. It would make the molluscs neotenic annelids that had lost their segmentation by dropping off the original adult stages from their life history. The TROCHOPHORE larva thus becomes the last point of contact between the two phyla; see also: PHLEBOEDESIS. See also: NEOTENY.

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