What controls the fine-scale structure of the mollusc shell? How did the adaptability of shell microstructures contribute to major diversifications of the Mollusca? These are our primary research questions, and to answer them we will employ transmission and scanning electron microscopy (including x-ray and backscattered electron diffraction) to collect new information on mostly fossil but also modern molluscs. We will compile biologic and geologic data on Phanerozoic molluscs and analyse patterns with phylogenetics and statistics software, allowing tests of hypotheses about controls on shell microstructure and the nature of escalation between predators and mollusc prey.
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