Renato Cruz, Gilberto Weissmüller, Marcos Farina*

Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho; *Departamento de Anatomia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Summary: The shell of Micropilina arntzi (Mollusca: Monoplacophora), a primitive molluscan class, was examined by using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) at low voltage and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The use of these two techniques allowed the observation of fine details of Micropilina arntzi shell and contributed to bring new features concerning the study of molluscan shell microtexture. Imaging with low-voltage FESEM provided well-defined edge contours of shell structures, while analyzing the sample with AFM gave information about the step height of stacked internal structures as well as the dimension of the particles present in their surface at a nanometric level. The shell microstructure of Monoplacophora species presents different patterns and may be a taxonomic implication in the systematic studies of the group.

Key words: field emission scanning electron microscopy, low voltage, atomic force microscopy, microstructure, mollusca

PACS: 87.64.Dz, 07.79.-v, 61.16.Fk

This work was supported by Brazilian grants from PRONEX, CAPES and Faperj.