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Congenital malformation of the systemic heart of <i>Sepia officinalis</i> l.: morphological, phylogenetic and ecotoxicological aspects

R Schipp
S Von Boletzky


Numerous preparations of the circulatory system of Sepia officinalis L. caught from the Bay of Arcachon (Atlantic Coast of France) in 1989 and 1996 showed an obvious congenital malformation of the systemic heart complex. The malformation consisted of a cord- or truncus-like structure at the left cranio-apical ventricle. It is interpreted as an atypical second root of the cephalic aorta reflecting an originally paired anlage of the heart in ancestral cephalopods. In considering possible causes of this atavistic abnormality, the high tributyltin (TBT) contamination recorded in the Bay at the time should not be overlooked.