Author Topic: Tunicates - our filter-feeding cousins  (Read 238 times)

stemturtle

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Tunicates - our filter-feeding cousins
« on: November 05, 2018, 09:58:20 PM »
We are fortunate that toy companies have made tunicates, however few. These obscure invertebrates are important because they share a common ancestor with us and the rest of the vertebrates. We are more closely related to subphylum Tunicata (syn. Urochordata) than we are to the amphioxus. Molecular phylogenetics assigned that cephalochordate to an early branch of the chordate tree, sharing a common ancestor with the tunicates. Still, the lancelet best illustrates the basic vertebrate body plan. An ascidian is a sea squirt.


Resemblance of a frog tadpole and an ascidian larva.


Tadpole, species unidentified (Safari Ltd, Life Cycle of a Frog)
No figurine of a tunicate larva is available, but there are several replicas of frog tadpoles.

Two of the three classes of Tunicata are represented by models.
No figurines have been made for class Appendicularia -  larvaceans, which resemble tadpoles even while adults.                                       

Class Thaliacea -  salps. Doliolids or pyrosomes are not depicted by toys.

Salp tunic with amphipod, Phronima sedentaria (Nature Technicolor, Deep Sea Life 1)
Empty salp, no ID, amphipod removed (Nature Technicolor, Deep Sea Life 1)

Class Ascidiacea - sea squirts. Over 2,000 species.

Sea pinapple, Halocynthia roretzi (Kaiyodo, Michinoku)
Predatory tunicate, Megalodicopia hians (Agatsuma Entertainment, Amazing Creatures)
Predatory tunicate, Megalodicopia hians (Takara, Deep Sea Fish Encyclopedia 3)
________
Reference: Gee, Henry. 2018. Across the Bridge, Understanding the Origin of the Vertebrates. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 05:23:27 PM by stemturtle »


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Re: Tunicates - our filter-feeding cousins
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 11:22:38 PM »
Little squirts. :D

stemturtle

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Re: Tunicates - our filter-feeding cousins
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 10:18:44 PM »

Painted tunicate, Clavelina picta (by Living Color Aquariums)
This urethane model consists of 3 sea squirts, each having 2 siphons. From eBay.

Do you think that an aquarium decoration can be considered an animal toy?

bmathison1972

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Re: Tunicates - our filter-feeding cousins
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2018, 12:46:44 AM »

Painted tunicate, Clavelina picta (by Living Color Aquariums)
This urethane model consists of 3 sea squirts, each having 2 siphons. From eBay.

Do you think that an aquarium decoration can be considered an animal toy?

I have several crabs and hermit crabs that are 'aquarium' decor. They are at least animal models!

stemturtle

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Re: Tunicates - our filter-feeding cousins
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 11:39:57 AM »

Painted tunicate, Clavelina picta (by Living Color Aquariums)
This urethane model consists of 3 sea squirts, each having 2 siphons. From eBay.

Do you think that an aquarium decoration can be considered an animal toy?

I have several crabs and hermit crabs that are 'aquarium' decor. They are at least animal models!

Bmathison, I like your way of thinking.