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Bioessays. 1994 Jun;16(6):419-24.

A good eye for arthropod evolution.

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School of Biological Sciences, Sussex University, Brighton, UK.


Insect and crustacean lineages diverged over 500 Myr ago, and there are continuing uncertainties about whether they evolved from a common arthropod ancestor or, alternatively, they evolved independently from annelid worms. Despite the diversity of their limbs and lifestyles, the nervous systems of insects and crustaceans share many common features both in development and in function. Cellular and molecular embryology techniques reveal good evidence for homologies in the developing segmental ganglia. In the visual system, this seemingly common programme of insect and crustacean CNS development culminates in common adult neural function. Comparisons of the cellular anatomy and physiology of animals as diverse as flies and crayfishes indicate that the neural circuits in the lamina of their optic lobe have been inherited largely unchanged from a common ancestor with good compound eyes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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