UV Light Reveals the Diversity of Jurassic Shell Colour Patterns: Examples from the Cordebugle Lagerstätte (Calvados, France)

Caze, Bruno and Merle, Didier and Schneider, Simon (2015) UV Light Reveals the Diversity of Jurassic Shell Colour Patterns: Examples from the Cordebugle Lagerstätte (Calvados, France). PLoS ONE, 10 (6). e0126745. ISSN eISSN-1545-7885; ISSN-1544-9173 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0126745

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126745

Abstract

Viewed under UV light the diverse and exceptionally well-preserved molluscs from the Late Jurassic Cordebugle Konservat Lagerstätte (Calvados, Normandy, France) reveal fluorescent fossil shell colour patterns predating the oldest previously known instance of such patterns by 100 Myr. Evidently, residual colour patterns are observable in Mesozoic molluscs by application of this non-destructive method, provided the shells are not decalcified or recrystallized. Among 46 species which are assigned to twelve gastropod families and eight bivalve families, no less than 25 species yielded positive results. Out of nine colour pattern morphologies that have been distinguished six occur in gastropods and three in bivalves. The presence of these variant morphologies clearly indicates a significant pre-Cenozoic diversification of colour patterns, especially in gastropods. In addition, the occurrence of two distinct types of fluorescence highlights a major difference in the chemical composition of the pigments involved in colour pattern formation in gastropods. This discovery enables us to discriminate members of higher clades, i.e. the Vetigastropoda emitting red fluorescence from the Caenogastropoda and Heterobranchia emitting whitish-beige to yellow fluorescence. Consequently, fluorescent colour patterns may help to allocate part of the numerous enigmatic Mesozoic gastropod taxa to their correct systematic position.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2015AREP; IA69; CASP; weekly list
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Volume: 10
Page Range: e0126745
Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126745
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2015 16:42
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015 16:42
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3500

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