Izvestiya of Saratov University.
ISSN 1819-7663 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1921 (Online)


Colonial Level of Modular Organization in the Late Cretaceous Hexactinellids (Porifera). Primary Colonies

In the structure of modular organization of the Late Cretaceous hexactinellid sponges, the terminal position is assigned to colonial forms, with skeletons peculiar for complex, intricate structures. Primitive (primary) and genuine (secondary) colonies have been revealed. Skeletons of the primary forms, generally with multiple numbers of equivalent modules and oscula, differ morphologically from the genuine colonies in undeveloped module connecting elements, such as junctions and wall closures, and in the lack of ostia


Autonomous Forms of the Late Cretaceous Modular Hexactinellids (Porifera)

In morphogenesis of the Late Cretaceous skeletal sponges – hexactinellids – certain tendencies may be traced that allow to distinguish forms of diverse levels of modular organization (?polyoscula? sponges) among the unitary representatives of the group. Skeletons of the sponges from the primary level of modular forms, autonomies, represent an example of the initial module polymerization, with the principal polymerization mechanism involving diverse variants of gemmation and/or fission

Perifrontal Forms of the Late Cretaceous Modular Hexactinellids (Porifera)

Certain tendencies are supposed to show up in morphogenesis of the Late Cretaceous skeletal sponges, hexactinellids; those tendencies make it possible to distinguish some forms of diverse-level modular organization among the unitary representatives of the group. Generation of primitive ?modular? forms, defined as the perifrontal ones, is associated with incomplete gemmation and isolation of solitary cross canals, apo- or prosochetes

Colonial Level of Modular Organization in the Late Cretaceous Hexactinellids (Porifera). Genuine Colonies

Tendencies of morphogenesis in the Late Cretaceous modular forms contributed to formations of complexly structured secondary (genuine) colonies. Skeletons of genuine colonial sponges differ not just in numerous and diversely arranged equivalent oscula-carrying modules, but in the presence of the module connecting elements – junctions, as well. Characteristic elements of genuine colony skeletons – ostia – have been recognized between the modules and the junctions.

Transitory Level of Modular Organization in the Late Cretaceous Hexactinellids (Porifera)

The regularly arranged openings acting as additional oscula – subos­cula – in the skeletal structures of numerous hexactinellids made the basis for recognizing a transient level in those sponge organization: a transition between the unitary and the colonial forms. Unitary, autono­mous and colonial sublevels have been recognized in the transition structures. The morphological diversity of the Late Cretaceous transi­tions was called forth by manifestations of mosaic morphogenesis in the representatives of the Lychniscosa and Hexactinosa orders.

Regenerative Capabilities in the Late Cretaceous Hexactinellids (Porifera, Hexactinellida)

Partial and complete regeneration phenomena, cases of skeleton habitus restoration have been recorded in representatives of the Late Cretaceous hexactinnelids. Regeneration incidences are in many ways associated with the ability of silicon-producing cells responsible for constructing skeleton-generating elements, spicules, to transform, to rearrange their functions in response to the changes of the organism position on the substrate surface and/or upon the changes of the aquatic environment parameters.

Morphotypes of the Late Cretaceous Hexactinellids (Porifera, Hexactinellida)

Basic structure types have been specified in hexacinellids with soldered spicule lattice. The fossils of those occur as skeletal forms. Certain tendencies in Lychniscosa and Hexactinosa morphogenesis were identified as conductive to shaping the spectrum of skeleton archetypes. The increase of sponge morphological diversity was in many ways predetermined by thickness reduction of the skeleton-forming walls, associated with reduction of the irrigation system elements. That has brought about forms of complicated tubular labyrinth habits.

Module Organization in the Late Cretaceous Hexactinellids (Hexactinellida, Porifera)

Knowledge on the regularities of vegetative propagation and comprehension of the osculum (oscula) and subosculum structural-functional positions and interrelations in the skeleton structure have made it possible to specify the organization levels in the Late Cretaceous hexactinellids: the unitary (solitary, perifrontal and autonomous forms), transitory (solitary, autonomous and colonial forms) and colonial (primary and true colonies) ones.

Composition and Structure of the Ventriculitidae (Porifera, Hexactinellida) Family

The Ventriculitidae representatives used to hold noticeable and occasionally dominant position within the Coniacian – Maastrichtian sponge assemblages. Relatively simple skeleton construction in the representatives of the family among the Late Cretaceous hexactinellids has made it possible to trace variations in skeleton morphology, changes in the goblet habitus and in the structure of irrigation system depending on the width variations of the skeleton-building wall.

Contubernium Ochevi (Porifera, Hexactinellida)

Among the Late Cretaceous Ventriculitidae, with the most simply constructed pariform skeleton, representatives characterized by unusual neoplasms were identified. On the paragastric surface after the lapel of these sponges (Contubernium), cone-shaped submodules are regularly based, the appearance of which is associated with incomplete blastogenesis. Paragastra of submodules are not associated with the atrium, therefore, Contubernium is considered as a perifrontal organism, occupying an intermediate position between single and modular forms of spongia.