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Haug, Carolin (2018): Feeding strategies in arthropods from the Rhynie and Windyfield cherts: ecological diversification in an early non-marine biota. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, Vol. 373, No. 1739, 20160492

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The key to understanding fossil ecosystems is to understand the life habits of long extinct organisms. Yet, as direct observations are no longer possible, morphological details are usually the only available data source. One important aspect of lifestyle is feeding strategies, which can be inferred from morphological structures in comparison with those of extant relatives. The Lower Devonian Rhynie and Windyfield cherts preserve even minute structures to a high degree of detail, which allows investigation of the functional morphology of structures possibly involved in feeding. In this contribution, the feeding structures of different arthropods from the Rhynie and Windyfield cherts are described and the corresponding feeding strategies of the animals are discussed. This overview illustrates that in this early non-marine biota, a wide range of feeding strategies already existed. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'The Rhynie cherts: our earliest terrestrial ecosystem revisited'.

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