Most vertebrate cranial sense organs arise from placodes. These placodes give rise to sensory neurons that transmit information to the brain and neurosecretory cells. This book reviews the evolutionary origin of the sensory and neurosecretory cell types. It summarizes our current understanding of vertebrate evolution, clarifies conceptual issues relating to homology and evolutionary innovation of cell types, compares the sensory and neurosecretory cell types with similar cell types in other animals, and addresses the question of how cranial placodes evolved as novel structures in vertebrates by redeploying pre-existing and sometimes evolutionarily ancient cell types.
Table of Contents
1. The Evolutionary Origin of Vertebrates
2. Teaching Old Cells New Tricks
3. Evolution of Mechano- and Chemosensory Cell Types
4. Evolution of Photosensory Cell Types
5. Evolution of Neurosecretory Cell Types
6. Evolutionary Origin of Vertebrate Cranial Placodes
Gerhard Schlosser is Lecturer Above The Bar in the Department of Zoology at the National University of Ireland in Galway. He has received two PhD's - the first in Philosphy from the Albert-ludwigs-Universität Freiberg and the second in Biology from the University of Bremen. After two postdocs - one at University of Bremen and another at the University of California in San Diego - he joined the faculty at the National University of Ireland. He is the author or co-author of dozens of peer reviewed journal articles.