Article: Unusual growth pattern in the Frasnian alveolitids (Tabulata) from the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland)
Growth periodicity is a phenomenon occurring in fossil and modern corals. The most apparent feature is growth banding, and environmental changes are broadly accepted as controls on this phenomenon. If environment controls the growth, then all corallites within a colony should repeat the same growth pattern, as individuals are clones and must have shared the same environment. A study on several species of Alveolitidae (Anthozoa, Tabulata) from the Late Devonian (Early Frasnian) of the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland) shows that the growth pattern varies between neighbouring individuals within the same corallum. This contradicts observations of closely related Favositida as demonstrated on Pachyfavosites sp. from the Givetian of Avesnois, France, where neighbouring individuals repeat the same pattern. Therefore, environmental control on growth rhythm in Alveolitidae can be excluded; the causes of differences between individuals remain unknown.