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Title: Aspects of the biology of polar pycnogonids
Author: Richards, Peter Robin
Awarding Body: Council for National Academic Awards
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 1976
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The internal morphology of fixed specimens of Antarctic pycnogonids WDS examined. Theories postulated during the course of these histological studies were then tested and modified by observations on live material and specimens fixed specially for histochemistry on visits both to the Arctic and d Antarctic. Live material was also transported back to Britain from these regions and cultured in refrigerated marine aquaria. The digestive system was studied in considerable detail. It is suggested that digestion is intracellular with gut cells changing their morphology during their lifetime. Embryo cells develop into Absorptive cells which at some stage take up a glandular appearance but not a glandular function. There are therefore two gut cell types, 'Embryo' and 'Absorptive/glandular'; this is in disagreement with some previous authors who separate the latter. The rele of the gut cell in the light of present day lysosome theory is discussed and a re-interpretation of work by previous authors suggested. It is found that the digestive process is slow and the prey tastes of the species studied, catholic. Furthermore, it is found that some species can survive for long periods without appearing to feed. Suggestions are made as to the significance and mechanisms of these phenomena. Mass transport in the body cavities is considered flnd compared with that of Hydra, an animal with which previous authors have made comparisons; - their philosophy is questioned. Blood flow, heartbeat and intestine movements are also considered and suggestions for future studies made. The role of blood itself is studied a possible clotting system described. Preliminary experiments on blood electrophoresis and chromatography indicate that such techniques may be useful in clarifying some complexities of pycnogonid classification and might provide a means by which future workers in the field might better link nutritional state, mass transport, digestion and external environment conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: C161 Marine Biology ; Antarctic ; pcynogonids ; Arctic ; internal morphology