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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department of Invertebrate Zoology

photomicrograph of Dioithona oculata

The copepod, Dioithona oculata (Farran, 1913)

bar photo of Frank Ferrari

Frank D. FerrariResearch Zoologist, Emeritus


    Responsibilities: Curator of Copepoda

    Hobart College, 1967, B.S. Biology
    Boston University, 1969, M.S. Marine Biology
    Texas A&M University, 1974, Ph.D. Oceanography

    Research Interests:
    Development of Copepods and Related Crustaceans, Patterning of Crustacean Limbs, Taxonomy of Deep-Sea Copepods.

    More kinds of arthropods exist today than any other comparable group of animals. An important reason for their success is the marvelous variety of arthropod limbs. Although studies of arthropod development have been carried out for more than 300 years, a basic question about their limbs has gone unasked until recently: how are the limbs patterned during development? Over the last five years, analyses of the comparative morphology of crustacean limb development have begun to reveal information about that question. The protopod of a crustacean limb is patterned distally from the point where the limb joins the body, so that the youngest element of the protopod is always closest to the body. Ramal patterning is more complex; new elements can be added either proximally and distally from a source segment, so that the youngest elements are closest to this patterning center. As a result, determination of homologous segments of a ramus results from a complex analysis and is not a simply a counting exercise; the contemporary application of numerical symbols in a simple, proximodistal progression is a misleading exercise.

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