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Regenerating Heads!

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.co.nz
Wed Mar 2 00:12:20 EST 2005

> How widespread is this phenomenon?  I would have suspected it limited and
> related to a somewhat primitive Oweniid nervous system. 

Likely to be very widespread but not universal. Maldanids & spionids are 
rather good at it from my observations. Sometimes anterior regeneration is a 
normal part of reproduction and deliberate and drastic in scale (architomy in 
spionids, etc).  However Schroeder & Hermans (1975) indicate nereidids usually 
cannot reconstruct heads, and I must admit I can't recall seeing any nereidids 
with new heads.  Also polynoids can do new tails ok but I'm wondering if they 
can do new heads?

In my polychaete bibliography database there are a very large number of refs 
with regenerat* somewhere in the title.  A fair number indicate anterior 
regeneration. Found this re the oweniids:  

Coulon, J.; Diano, M.; Arsanto, J.-P. ; Thouveny, Y. 1989: Remodeling 
processes during anterior regeneration of Owenia fusiformis, (Polychaeta,
Annelidae): A morphological and immunocytochemical survey. Can. J. Zool. 67:

Classic ref: 

Berrill, N. J. 1952: Regeneration and budding in worms. Biological Reviews 27:


  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.co.nz>

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