The Form of Fæcal Pellets and Specific Identification


IN the differentiation of closely allied species, any additional character which may help to separate them will be of value. In the case of ascidians, for example, much help is obtained from the nature of the eggs. A character, however, which has not previously been made use of is the nature of the fæces. While in many cases these are either shapeless or else of very variable shape, a large number of animals have fæces of a quite distinctive type. The specific character of the fæcal pellets may lie either in differences of their general shape or else in details of surface sculpture, the latter often being exceedingly elaborate, as in the example shown in Fig. 1.

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MOORE, H. The Form of Fæcal Pellets and Specific Identification. Nature 127, 818 (1931).

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