Projects per year
Cheilostome Bryozoa Anoteropora latirostris, a colonial marine invertebrate, constructs its skeleton from calcite and aragonite. This study presents firstly correlated multi-scale electron microscopy, micro-computed tomography, electron backscatter diffraction and NanoSIMS mapping. We show that all primary, coarse-grained platy calcitic lateral walls are covered by fine-grained fibrous aragonite. Vertical lateral walls separating autozooid chambers have aragonite only on their distal side. This type of asymmetric mineralization of lateral walls results from the vertical arrangement of the zooids at the growth margins of the colony and represents a type of biomineralization previously unknown in cheilostome bryozoans. NanoSIMS mapping across the aragonite-calcite interface indicates an organic layer between both mineral phases, likely representing an organic template for biomineralization of aragonite on the calcite layer. Analysis of crystallographic orientations show a moderately strong crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) for calcite (7.4 times random orientation) and an overall weaker CPO for aragonite (2.4 times random orientation) with a high degree of twinning (45%) of the aragonite grains. The calculated Young’s modulus for the CPO map shows a weak mechanical direction perpendicular to the colony’s upper surface facilitating this organism’s strategy of clonal reproduction by fragmentation along the vertical zooid walls.