Science.gov

Sample records for cretaceous shark ptychodus

  1. A Gigantic Shark from the Lower Cretaceous Duck Creek Formation of Texas

    PubMed Central

    Frederickson, Joseph A.; Schaefer, Scott N.; Doucette-Frederickson, Janessa A.

    2015-01-01

    Three large lamniform shark vertebrae are described from the Lower Cretaceous of Texas. We interpret these fossils as belonging to a single individual with a calculated total body length of 6.3 m. This large individual compares favorably to another shark specimen from the roughly contemporaneous Kiowa Shale of Kansas. Neither specimen was recovered with associated teeth, making confident identification of the species impossible. However, both formations share a similar shark fauna, with Leptostyrax macrorhiza being the largest of the common lamniform sharks. Regardless of its actual identification, this new specimen provides further evidence that large-bodied lamniform sharks had evolved prior to the Late Cretaceous. PMID:26039066

  2. A gigantic shark from the lower cretaceous duck creek formation of Texas.

    PubMed

    Frederickson, Joseph A; Schaefer, Scott N; Doucette-Frederickson, Janessa A

    2015-01-01

    Three large lamniform shark vertebrae are described from the Lower Cretaceous of Texas. We interpret these fossils as belonging to a single individual with a calculated total body length of 6.3 m. This large individual compares favorably to another shark specimen from the roughly contemporaneous Kiowa Shale of Kansas. Neither specimen was recovered with associated teeth, making confident identification of the species impossible. However, both formations share a similar shark fauna, with Leptostyrax macrorhiza being the largest of the common lamniform sharks. Regardless of its actual identification, this new specimen provides further evidence that large-bodied lamniform sharks had evolved prior to the Late Cretaceous. PMID:26039066

  3. Lamniform Shark Teeth from the Late Cretaceous of Southernmost South America (Santa Cruz Province, Argentina)

    PubMed Central

    Schroeter, Elena R.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Ibiricu, Lucio M.; Lacovara, Kenneth J.

    2014-01-01

    Here we report multiple lamniform shark teeth recovered from fluvial sediments in the (Campanian-Maastrichtian) Cerro Fortaleza Formation, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. This small tooth assemblage is compared to various lamniform sharks possessing similar dental morphologies, including Archaeolamna, Cretalamna, Dwardius, Dallasiella, and Cretodus. Although the teeth share numerous morphological features with the genus Archaeolamna, including a developed neck that maintains a relatively consistent width along the base of the crown, the small sample size and incomplete nature of these specimens precludes definitive taxonomic assignment. Regardless, the discovery of selachian teeth unique from those previously described for the region broadens the known diversity of Late Cretaceous South American sharks. Additionally, the discovery of the teeth in fluvial sandstone may indicate a euryhaline paleobiology in the lamniform taxon or taxa represented by this tooth assemblage. PMID:25141301

  4. Shark

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This false color composite image from the Pathfinder lander shows the rock 'Shark' at upper right (Shark is about 0.69 m wide, 0.40 m high, and 6.4 m from the lander). The rock looks like a conglomerate in Sojourner rover images, but only the large elements of its surface textures can be seen here. This demonstrates the usefulness of having a robot rover geologist able to examine rocks up close.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  5. Denticle-embedded ampullary organs in a Cretaceous shark provide unique insight into the evolution of elasmobranch electroreceptors.

    PubMed

    Vullo, Romain; Guinot, Guillaume

    2015-10-01

    Here, we report a novel type of dermal denticle (or placoid scale), unknown among both living and fossil chondrichthyan fishes, in a Cretaceous lamniform shark. By their morphology and location, these dermal denticles, grouped into clusters in the cephalic region, appear to have been directly associated with the electrosensory ampullary system. These denticles have a relatively enlarged (∼350 μm in diameter), ornamented crown with a small (∼100 μm) asterisk- or cross-shaped central perforation connected to a multi-alveolate internal cavity. The formation of such a complex structure can be explained by the annular coalescence and fusion, around an ampullary vesicle, of several developmental units still at papillary stage (i.e. before mineralization), leading to a single denticle embedding an alveolar ampulla devoid of canal. This differs from larger typical ampullae of Lorenzini with a well-developed canal opening in a pore of the skin and may represent another adaptive response to low skin resistance. Since it has been recently demonstrated that ampullary organs arise from lateral line placodes in chondrichthyans, this highly specialized type of dermal denticle (most likely non-deciduous) may be derived from the modified placoid scales covering the superficial neuromasts (pit organs) of the mechanosensory lateral line system of many modern sharks. PMID:26420508

  6. Denticle-embedded ampullary organs in a Cretaceous shark provide unique insight into the evolution of elasmobranch electroreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain; Guinot, Guillaume

    2015-10-01

    Here, we report a novel type of dermal denticle (or placoid scale), unknown among both living and fossil chondrichthyan fishes, in a Cretaceous lamniform shark. By their morphology and location, these dermal denticles, grouped into clusters in the cephalic region, appear to have been directly associated with the electrosensory ampullary system. These denticles have a relatively enlarged (˜350 μm in diameter), ornamented crown with a small (˜100 μm) asterisk- or cross-shaped central perforation connected to a multi-alveolate internal cavity. The formation of such a complex structure can be explained by the annular coalescence and fusion, around an ampullary vesicle, of several developmental units still at papillary stage (i.e. before mineralization), leading to a single denticle embedding an alveolar ampulla devoid of canal. This differs from larger typical ampullae of Lorenzini with a well-developed canal opening in a pore of the skin and may represent another adaptive response to low skin resistance. Since it has been recently demonstrated that ampullary organs arise from lateral line placodes in chondrichthyans, this highly specialized type of dermal denticle (most likely non-deciduous) may be derived from the modified placoid scales covering the superficial neuromasts (pit organs) of the mechanosensory lateral line system of many modern sharks.

  7. Sharks that pass in the night: using Geographical Information Systems to investigate competition in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Corinne E.; Lieberman, Bruce S.

    2011-01-01

    One way the effects of both ecology and environment on species can be observed in the fossil record is as changes in geographical distribution and range size. The prevalence of competitive interactions and species replacements in the fossil record has long been investigated and many evolutionary perspectives, including those of Darwin, have emphasized the importance of competitive interactions that ultimately lead one species to replace another. However, evidence for such phenomena in the fossil record is not always manifest. Here we use new quantitative analytical techniques based on Geographical Information Systems and PaleoGIS tectonic reconstructions to consider this issue in greater detail. The abundant, well-preserved fossil marine vertebrates of the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway of North America provide the component data for this study. Statistical analysis of distributional and range size changes in taxa confirms earlier ideas that the relative frequency of competitive replacement in the fossil record is limited to non-existent. It appears that typically, environmental gradients played the primary role in determining species distributions, with competitive interactions playing a more minor role. PMID:20843852

  8. Sharks that pass in the night: using Geographical Information Systems to investigate competition in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway.

    PubMed

    Myers, Corinne E; Lieberman, Bruce S

    2011-03-01

    One way the effects of both ecology and environment on species can be observed in the fossil record is as changes in geographical distribution and range size. The prevalence of competitive interactions and species replacements in the fossil record has long been investigated and many evolutionary perspectives, including those of Darwin, have emphasized the importance of competitive interactions that ultimately lead one species to replace another. However, evidence for such phenomena in the fossil record is not always manifest. Here we use new quantitative analytical techniques based on Geographical Information Systems and PaleoGIS tectonic reconstructions to consider this issue in greater detail. The abundant, well-preserved fossil marine vertebrates of the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway of North America provide the component data for this study. Statistical analysis of distributional and range size changes in taxa confirms earlier ideas that the relative frequency of competitive replacement in the fossil record is limited to non-existent. It appears that typically, environmental gradients played the primary role in determining species distributions, with competitive interactions playing a more minor role. PMID:20843852

  9. Shark scales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    Close examination of the skin of a fast-swimming shark appears to confirm Langley's aerodynamically efficient Riblet concept. This view magnified 30 times, reveals that projections on the shark skin -dermal denticles- line up to form grooves similar to those that have reduced drag in wind tunnels. L83-9167: Mother Nature's riblet, this shark's dermal denticle has been magnified 3,000 times. Photograph published in Winds of Change, 75th Anniversary NASA publication (page 123), by James Schultz.

  10. Shark Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hitt, Dia

    2005-01-01

    Oceans are often considered mysterious, fascinating places filled with unique and scary animals. One of the most misunderstood and therefore scariest animals is the shark, yet the whale shark, the world's largest fish, is considered harmless to humans. This student-directed activity involves research, deductive reasoning, and students' own…

  11. Shark Scales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    Mother Nature's riblet, this shark's dermal denticle has been magnified 3,000 times. Photograph and caption published in Winds of Change, 75th Anniversary NASA publication (page 123), by James Schultz.

  12. Shark cartilage

    MedlinePlus

    ... Shark cartilage is also used for arthritis, psoriasis, wound healing, damage to the retina of the eye due ... study drugs for rare conditions. Arthritis. Eye complications. Wound healing. Other conditions. More evidence is needed to rate ...

  13. Shark Tagging Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Current: The Journal of Marine Education, 1998

    1998-01-01

    In this group activity, children learn about the purpose of tagging and how scientists tag a shark. Using a cut-out of a shark, students identify, measure, record data, read coordinates, and tag a shark. Includes introductory information about the purpose of tagging and the procedure, a data sheet showing original tagging data from Tampa Bay, and…

  14. Fish remains (Elasmobranchii, Actinopterygii) from the Late Cretaceous of the Benue Trough, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain; Courville, Philippe

    2014-09-01

    Selachian and ray-finned fish remains from various Late Cretaceous localities of Nigeria are described. Each locality has yielded only a very few specimens and the diversity is therefore very low. However, some taxa are recorded for the first time in Africa. The Ashaka locality in the Upper Benue Trough (northeastern Nigeria) has yielded a small but interesting late Cenomanian assemblage of microremains, including teeth of “Carcharias” amonensis, Rhombopterygia zaborskii sp. nov., Hamrabatis sp., “Stephanodus” sp., and a possible ionoscopiform. A large prearticular dentition coming from the early Turonian beds of this locality is assigned to the large pycnodontiform Acrotemnus, a poorly known genus here regarded as a senior synonym of Macropycnodon. In the Lower Benue Trough (southeastern Nigeria), several localities ranging in age from the late Cenomanian to the early Maastrichtian have yielded various widespread taxa such as Ptychodus, Scapanorhynchus, Squalicorax, Vidalamiinae indet., cf. Protosphyraena, and Eodiaphyodus. The seaway that occupied the Benue Trough during transgressive episodes (late Cenomanian-early Turonian and Maastrichtian) created opportunities for the dispersal of many marine fish taxa into new areas, such as the proto-South Atlantic.

  15. 85 million years of pelagic ecosystem evolution: Pacific Ocean deep-sea ichthyolith records reveal fish community dynamics and a long-term decline in sharks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, E. C.; Norris, R. D.; Cuevas, J. M.; Graves, L. G.

    2015-12-01

    The structure and productivity of open ocean consumers has undergone major changes over the past 85 million years. Here, we present the first long-term detailed records of pelagic fish and sharks utilizing the record of ichthyoliths (teeth and dermal scales) from the deep Pacific Ocean. While the North and South Pacific Oceans show similar patterns throughout the 85 million year history, the North Pacific ichthyolith accumulation is significantly higher than the South Pacific, suggesting that the basin has been a more productive region for tens of millions of years. Fish and sharks were not abundant in the Pacific gyres until ~75 million years ago (Ma) suggesting that neither group was quantitatively important in oligotrophic pelagic food webs prior to the latest Cretaceous. Relative to ray-finned fish, sharks were common in the ancient ocean. Most ichthyolith assemblages have >50% shark dermal scales (denticles), but denticle abundance has been declining in both absolute and relative abundance since the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction. The accumulation rate of ichthyoliths of both sharks and ray-finned fish was highest in the Early Eocene, during the peak of the Cenozoic 'greenhouse' climate where production of shark dermal denticles and fish teeth increased almost five times over Paleocene production rates. Ichthyolith fluxes fell with cooler climates in the later Eocene and Oligocene, but fish production is almost always higher than in the Cretaceous and Paleocene reflecting the expanded ecological roles and importance of pelagic fish in marine ecosystems. Shark denticle production fell to less than half that of the Cretaceous by 20 Ma when it dropped abruptly to near-zero levels. Currently denticles make up <2% of the ichthyolith assemblages when present at all. Ecologically, pelagic sharks appear to be falling as major pelagic consumers over the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and particularly over the past 20 Ma, perhaps reflecting demographic

  16. Evidence of reworked Cretaceous fossils and their bearing on the existence of Tertiary dinosaurs

    SciTech Connect

    Eaton, J.G. ); Kirkland, J.I. ); Doi, K. )

    1989-06-01

    The Paleocene Shotgun fauna of Wyoming includes marine sharks as well as mammals. It has been suggested that the sharks were introduced from the Cannonball Sea. It is more likely that these sharks were reworked from a Cretaceous rock sequence that included both marine and terrestrial deposits as there is a mixture of marine and freshwater taxa. These taxa have not been recorded elsewhere after the Cretaceous and are not known from the Cannonball Formation. Early Eocene localities at Raven Ridge, Utah, similarly contain teeth of Cretaceous marine and freshwater fish, dinosaurs, and Eocene mammals. The Cretaceous teeth are well preserved, variably abraded, and serve to cast doubts on criteria recently used to claim that dinosaur teeth recovered from the Paleocene of Montana are not reworked. Another Eocene locality in the San Juan Basin has produced an Eocene mammalian fauna with diverse Cretaceous marine sharks. Neither the nature of preservation nor the degree of abrasion could be used to distinguish reworked from contemporaneous material. The mixed environments represented by the fish taxa and recognition of the extensive pre-Tertiary extinction of both marine and freshwater fish were employed to recognize reworked specimens.

  17. Quantification of diagenesis in Cenozoic sharks: Elemental and mineralogical changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labs-Hochstein, Joann; MacFadden, Bruce J.

    2006-10-01

    Diagenesis of bone during fossilization is pervasive, however, the extent of this process varies with depositional environment. This study quantifies diagenesis of shark vertebral centra through analysis of a suite of physical and chemical characters including crystallinty index (CI), carbonate content, and elemental concentrations. Although shark skeletons are initially cartilaginous, the soft cartilage of the vertebral centra is replaced with carbonate hydroxyapatite during growth. Nine vertebral centra are analyzed from lamnoid (Lamnoidea) sharks ranging in age from the cretaceous to recent using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). The variables CI, carbonate content, rare earth element (REE) concentrations, Ca/P, Ba/Ca, Sr/Ba, (La/Yb) N, (La/Y) N, (La/Yb) N vs. (La/Sm) N, La/Yb, and Ce anomalies elucidate the diagenetic and depositional environments of the seven fossil vertebral centra. The two extant centra demonstrate the initial, unaltered end-member conditions for these variables. Two fossil vertebral centra ( Carcharodon megalodon and Isurus hastalis) demonstrate a strong terrestrial influence during diagenesis (distinctive flattening of shale-normalized REE patterns) that masked the seawater signal. Three centra ( Carcharodon auriculatus, Carcharodon angustidens, and Creotxyrhina mantelli) have indications of some terrestrial influx evident by some flattening of the REE patterns relative to seawater. The terrestrial influence in these five shark centra ( C. megalodon, I. hastalis, C. auriculatus, C. angustidens and C. mantelli) are interpreted to represent a primarily nearshore habitat for these species. In contrast, the two Otodus obliquus centra have REE patterns that represent the original seawater signal and have no indications of terrigenous input. These results indicate that fossil shark vertebral centra have the potential to understand diagenesis and reconstruct

  18. 50 CFR 600.1204 - Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. 600.1204 Section 600.1204 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND... PROVISIONS Shark Finning § 600.1204 Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. (a)(1)...

  19. 50 CFR 600.1204 - Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. 600.1204 Section 600.1204 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND... PROVISIONS Shark Finning § 600.1204 Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. (a)(1)...

  20. 50 CFR 600.1204 - Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. 600.1204 Section 600.1204 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND... PROVISIONS Shark Finning § 600.1204 Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. (a)(1)...

  1. 50 CFR 600.1204 - Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. 600.1204 Section 600.1204 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND... PROVISIONS Shark Finning § 600.1204 Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. (a)(1)...

  2. 50 CFR 600.1204 - Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. 600.1204 Section 600.1204 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND... PROVISIONS Shark Finning § 600.1204 Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins. (a)(1)...

  3. Sojourner, Wedge, & Shark

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) image taken near the end of daytime operations on Sol 50 shows the Sojourner rover between the rocks 'Wedge' (foreground) and 'Shark' (behind rover). The rover successfully deployed its Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer on Shark on Sol 52.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  4. New Age of Fishes initiated by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction.

    PubMed

    Sibert, Elizabeth C; Norris, Richard D

    2015-07-14

    Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) comprise nearly half of all modern vertebrate diversity, and are an ecologically and numerically dominant megafauna in most aquatic environments. Crown teleost fishes diversified relatively recently, during the Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene, although the exact timing and cause of their radiation and rise to ecological dominance is poorly constrained. Here we use microfossil teeth and shark dermal scales (ichthyoliths) preserved in deep-sea sediments to study the changes in the pelagic fish community in the latest Cretaceous and early Paleogene. We find that the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) extinction event marked a profound change in the structure of ichthyolith communities around the globe: Whereas shark denticles outnumber ray-finned fish teeth in Cretaceous deep-sea sediments around the world, there is a dramatic increase in the proportion of ray-finned fish teeth to shark denticles in the Paleocene. There is also an increase in size and numerical abundance of ray-finned fish teeth at the boundary. These changes are sustained through at least the first 24 million years of the Cenozoic. This new fish community structure began at the K/Pg mass extinction, suggesting the extinction event played an important role in initiating the modern "age of fishes." PMID:26124114

  5. New Age of Fishes initiated by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, Elizabeth C.; Norris, Richard D.

    2015-07-01

    Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) comprise nearly half of all modern vertebrate diversity, and are an ecologically and numerically dominant megafauna in most aquatic environments. Crown teleost fishes diversified relatively recently, during the Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene, although the exact timing and cause of their radiation and rise to ecological dominance is poorly constrained. Here we use microfossil teeth and shark dermal scales (ichthyoliths) preserved in deep-sea sediments to study the changes in the pelagic fish community in the latest Cretaceous and early Paleogene. We find that the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) extinction event marked a profound change in the structure of ichthyolith communities around the globe: Whereas shark denticles outnumber ray-finned fish teeth in Cretaceous deep-sea sediments around the world, there is a dramatic increase in the proportion of ray-finned fish teeth to shark denticles in the Paleocene. There is also an increase in size and numerical abundance of ray-finned fish teeth at the boundary. These changes are sustained through at least the first 24 million years of the Cenozoic. This new fish community structure began at the K/Pg mass extinction, suggesting the extinction event played an important role in initiating the modern "age of fishes."

  6. Expanded niche for white sharks.

    PubMed

    Boustany, Andre M; Davis, Scott F; Pyle, Peter; Anderson, Scot D; Le Boeuf, Burney J; Block, Barbara A

    2002-01-01

    Until the advent of electronic tagging technology, the inherent difficulty of studying swift and powerful marine animals made ecological information about sharks of the family Lamnidae difficult to obtain. Here we report the tracking of movements of white sharks by using pop-up satellite archival tags, which reveal that their migratory movements, depth and ambient thermal ranges are wider than was previously thought. PMID:11780105

  7. Sojourner's APXS at Shark

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The Sojourner rover is seen next to the rock 'Shark', in this image taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) near the end of daytime operations on Sol 52. The rover's Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer is deployed against the rock. The rock 'Wedge' is in the foreground.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  8. Characteristics of the shark fisheries of Fiji

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaus, Kerstin B. J.; Adrian-Kalchhauser, Irene; Burkhardt-Holm, Patricia; White, William T.; Brunnschweiler, Juerg M.

    2015-12-01

    Limited information is available on artisanal and subsistence shark fisheries across the Pacific. The aim of this study was to investigate Fiji’s inshore fisheries which catch sharks. In January and February 2013, 253 semi-directive interviews were conducted in 117 villages and at local harbours on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Ovalau and a number of islands of the Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos. Of the 253 interviewees, 81.4% reported to presently catch sharks, and 17.4% declared that they did not presently catch any sharks. Of the 206 fishers that reported to catch sharks, 18.4% targeted sharks and 81.6% caught sharks as bycatch. When targeted, primary use of sharks was for consumption or for sale. Sharks caught as bycatch were frequently released (69.6%), consumed (64.9%) or shared amongst the community (26.8%). Fishers’ identification based on an identification poster and DNA barcoding revealed that at least 12 species of elasmobranchs, 11 shark and one ray species (Rhynchobatus australiae) were caught. This study, which is the first focused exploration of the shark catch in Fiji’s inshore fisheries, suggests that the country’s artisanal shark fisheries are small but have the potential to develop into larger and possibly more targeted fisheries.

  9. Characteristics of the shark fisheries of Fiji.

    PubMed

    Glaus, Kerstin B J; Adrian-Kalchhauser, Irene; Burkhardt-Holm, Patricia; White, William T; Brunnschweiler, Juerg M

    2015-01-01

    Limited information is available on artisanal and subsistence shark fisheries across the Pacific. The aim of this study was to investigate Fiji's inshore fisheries which catch sharks. In January and February 2013, 253 semi-directive interviews were conducted in 117 villages and at local harbours on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Ovalau and a number of islands of the Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos. Of the 253 interviewees, 81.4% reported to presently catch sharks, and 17.4% declared that they did not presently catch any sharks. Of the 206 fishers that reported to catch sharks, 18.4% targeted sharks and 81.6% caught sharks as bycatch. When targeted, primary use of sharks was for consumption or for sale. Sharks caught as bycatch were frequently released (69.6%), consumed (64.9%) or shared amongst the community (26.8%). Fishers' identification based on an identification poster and DNA barcoding revealed that at least 12 species of elasmobranchs, 11 shark and one ray species (Rhynchobatus australiae) were caught. This study, which is the first focused exploration of the shark catch in Fiji's inshore fisheries, suggests that the country's artisanal shark fisheries are small but have the potential to develop into larger and possibly more targeted fisheries. PMID:26626561

  10. Characteristics of the shark fisheries of Fiji

    PubMed Central

    Glaus, Kerstin B. J.; Adrian-Kalchhauser, Irene; Burkhardt-Holm, Patricia; White, William T.; Brunnschweiler, Juerg M.

    2015-01-01

    Limited information is available on artisanal and subsistence shark fisheries across the Pacific. The aim of this study was to investigate Fiji’s inshore fisheries which catch sharks. In January and February 2013, 253 semi-directive interviews were conducted in 117 villages and at local harbours on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Ovalau and a number of islands of the Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos. Of the 253 interviewees, 81.4% reported to presently catch sharks, and 17.4% declared that they did not presently catch any sharks. Of the 206 fishers that reported to catch sharks, 18.4% targeted sharks and 81.6% caught sharks as bycatch. When targeted, primary use of sharks was for consumption or for sale. Sharks caught as bycatch were frequently released (69.6%), consumed (64.9%) or shared amongst the community (26.8%). Fishers’ identification based on an identification poster and DNA barcoding revealed that at least 12 species of elasmobranchs, 11 shark and one ray species (Rhynchobatus australiae) were caught. This study, which is the first focused exploration of the shark catch in Fiji’s inshore fisheries, suggests that the country’s artisanal shark fisheries are small but have the potential to develop into larger and possibly more targeted fisheries. PMID:26626561

  11. Hydrodynamic aspects of shark scales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raschi, W. G.; Musick, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    Ridge morphometrices on placoid scales from 12 galeoid shark species were examined in order to evaluate their potential value for frictional drag reduction. The geometry of the shark scales is similar to longitudinal grooved surfaces (riblets) that have been previously shown to give 8 percent skin-friction reduction for turbulent boundary layers. The present study of the shark scales was undertaken to determine if the physical dimensions of the ridges on the shark scales are of the right magnitude to be used by the sharks for drag reduction based on previous riblet work. The results indicate that the ridge heights and spacings are normally maintained between the predicted optimal values proposed for voluntary and burst swimming speeds throughout the individual's ontogeny. Moreover, the species which might be considered to be the faster posses smaller and more closely spaced ridges that based on the riblet work would suggest a greater frictional drag reduction value at the high swimming speeds, as compared to their more sluggish counterparts.

  12. Strontium mineralization of shark vertebrae.

    PubMed

    Raoult, Vincent; Peddemors, Victor M; Zahra, David; Howell, Nicholas; Howard, Daryl L; de Jonge, Martin D; Williamson, Jane E

    2016-01-01

    Determining the age of sharks using vertebral banding is a vital component of management, but the causes of banding are not fully understood. Traditional shark ageing is based on fish otolith ageing methods where growth bands are assumed to result from varied seasonal calcification rates. Here we investigate these assumptions by mapping elemental distribution within the growth bands of vertebrae from six species of sharks representing four different taxonomic orders using scanning x-ray fluorescence microscopy. Traditional visual growth bands, determined with light microscopy, were more closely correlated to strontium than calcium in all species tested. Elemental distributions suggest that vertebral strontium bands may be related to environmental variations in salinity. These results highlight the requirement for a better understanding of shark movements, and their influence on vertebral development, if confidence in age estimates is to be improved. Analysis of shark vertebrae using similar strontium-focused elemental techniques, once validated for a given species, may allow more successful estimations of age on individuals with few or no visible vertebral bands. PMID:27424768

  13. Strontium mineralization of shark vertebrae

    PubMed Central

    Raoult, Vincent; Peddemors, Victor M.; Zahra, David; Howell, Nicholas; Howard, Daryl L.; de Jonge, Martin D.; Williamson, Jane E.

    2016-01-01

    Determining the age of sharks using vertebral banding is a vital component of management, but the causes of banding are not fully understood. Traditional shark ageing is based on fish otolith ageing methods where growth bands are assumed to result from varied seasonal calcification rates. Here we investigate these assumptions by mapping elemental distribution within the growth bands of vertebrae from six species of sharks representing four different taxonomic orders using scanning x-ray fluorescence microscopy. Traditional visual growth bands, determined with light microscopy, were more closely correlated to strontium than calcium in all species tested. Elemental distributions suggest that vertebral strontium bands may be related to environmental variations in salinity. These results highlight the requirement for a better understanding of shark movements, and their influence on vertebral development, if confidence in age estimates is to be improved. Analysis of shark vertebrae using similar strontium-focused elemental techniques, once validated for a given species, may allow more successful estimations of age on individuals with few or no visible vertebral bands. PMID:27424768

  14. Hydrodynamic aspects of shark scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raschi, W. G.; Musick, J. A.

    1986-03-01

    Ridge morphometrices on placoid scales from 12 galeoid shark species were examined in order to evaluate their potential value for frictional drag reduction. The geometry of the shark scales is similar to longitudinal grooved surfaces (riblets) that have been previously shown to give 8 percent skin-friction reduction for turbulent boundary layers. The present study of the shark scales was undertaken to determine if the physical dimensions of the ridges on the shark scales are of the right magnitude to be used by the sharks for drag reduction based on previous riblet work. The results indicate that the ridge heights and spacings are normally maintained between the predicted optimal values proposed for voluntary and burst swimming speeds throughout the individual's ontogeny. Moreover, the species which might be considered to be the faster posses smaller and more closely spaced ridges that based on the riblet work would suggest a greater frictional drag reduction value at the high swimming speeds, as compared to their more sluggish counterparts.

  15. Fiji's largest marine reserve benefits reef sharks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goetze, J. S.; Fullwood, L. A. F.

    2013-03-01

    To provide more information about whether sharks benefit from no-take marine reserves, we quantified the relative abundance and biomass of reef sharks inside and outside of Namena, Fiji's largest reserve (60.6 km2). Using stereo baited remote underwater video systems (stereo-BRUVs), we found that the abundance and biomass of sharks was approximately two and four times greater in shallow and deep locations, respectively, within the Namena reserve compared to adjacent fished areas. The greater abundance and biomass of reef sharks inside Namena is likely a result of greater prey availability rather than protection from fishing. This study demonstrates that marine reserves can benefit sharks.

  16. Oceanic sharks clean at coastal seamount.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Simon P; Hussey, Nigel E; Turner, John R; Beckett, Alison J

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) and cleaner wrasse were investigated at a seamount in the Philippines. Cleaning associations between sharks and teleosts are poorly understood, but the observable interactions seen at this site may explain why these mainly oceanic sharks regularly venture into shallow coastal waters where they are vulnerable to disturbance from human activity. From 1,230 hours of observations recorded by remote video camera between July 2005 and December 2009, 97 cleaner-thresher shark events were analyzed, 19 of which were interrupted. Observations of pelagic thresher sharks interacting with cleaners at the seamount were recorded at all times of day but their frequency declined gradually from morning until evening. Cleaners showed preferences for foraging on specific areas of a thresher shark's body. For all events combined, cleaners were observed to conduct 2,757 inspections, of which 33.9% took place on the shark's pelvis, 23.3% on the pectoral fins, 22.3% on the caudal fin, 8.6% on the body, 8.3% on the head, 2.1% on the dorsal fin, and 1.5% on the gills respectively. Cleaners did not preferentially inspect thresher sharks by time of day or by shark sex, but there was a direct correlation between the amount of time a thresher shark spent at a cleaning station and the number of inspections it received. Thresher shark clients modified their behavior by "circular-stance-swimming," presumably to facilitate cleaner inspections. The cleaner-thresher shark association reflected some of the known behavioral trends in the cleaner-reef teleost system since cleaners appeared to forage selectively on shark clients. Evidence is mounting that in addition to acting as social refuges and foraging grounds for large visiting marine predators, seamounts may also support pelagic ecology by functioning as cleaning stations for oceanic sharks and rays. PMID:21423796

  17. Enhanced visual fields in hammerhead sharks.

    PubMed

    McComb, D M; Tricas, T C; Kajiura, S M

    2009-12-01

    Several factors that influence the evolution of the unusual head morphology of hammerhead sharks (family Sphyrnidae) are proposed but few are empirically tested. In this study we tested the 'enhanced binocular field' hypothesis (that proposes enhanced frontal binocularity) by comparison of the visual fields of three hammerhead species: the bonnethead shark, Sphyrna tiburo, the scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini, and the winghead shark, Eusphyra blochii, with that of two carcharhinid species: the lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, and the blacknose shark, Carcharhinus acronotus. Additionally, eye rotation and head yaw were quantified to determine if species compensate for large blind areas anterior to the head. The winghead shark possessed the largest anterior binocular overlap (48 deg.) and was nearly four times larger than that of the lemon (10 deg.) and blacknose (11 deg.) sharks. The binocular overlap in the scalloped hammerhead sharks (34 deg.) was greater than the bonnethead sharks (13 deg.) and carcharhinid species; however, the bonnethead shark did not differ from the carcharhinids. These results indicate that binocular overlap has increased with lateral head expansion in hammerhead sharks. The hammerhead species did not demonstrate greater eye rotation in the anterior or posterior direction. However, both the scalloped hammerhead and bonnethead sharks exhibited greater head yaw during swimming (16.9 deg. and 15.6 deg., respectively) than the lemon (15.1 deg.) and blacknose (15.0 deg.) sharks, indicating a behavioral compensation for the anterior blind area. This study illustrates the larger binocular overlap in hammerhead species relative to their carcharhinid sister taxa and is consistent with the 'enhanced binocular field' hypothesis. PMID:19946079

  18. Grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) diving tourism: Tourist compliance and shark behaviour at Fish Rock, Australia.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kirby; Scarr, Mark; Scarpaci, Carol

    2010-11-01

    Humans can dive with critically endangered grey nurse sharks (Carcharias taurus) along the east coast of Australia. This study investigated both compliance of tourist divers to a code of conduct and legislation and the behaviour of grey nurse sharks in the presence of divers. A total of 25 data collection dives were conducted from December 2008 to January 2009. Grey nurse shark and diver behaviour were documented using 2-min scan samples and continuous observation. The proportion of time spent observing human-shark interactions was 9.4% of total field time and mean human-shark interaction time was 15.0 min. Results were used to gauge the effectiveness of current management practices for the grey nurse shark dive industry at Fish Rock in New South Wales, Australia. Grey nurse shark dive tourists were compliant to stipulations in the code of conduct and legislation (compliance ranged from 88 to 100%). The research detailed factors that may promote compliance in wildlife tourism operations such as the clarity of the stipulations, locality of the target species and diver perceptions of sharks. Results indicated that grey nurse sharks spent the majority of their time milling (85%) followed by active swimming (15%). Milling behaviour significantly decreased in the presence of more than six divers. Distance between sharks and divers, interaction time and number of sharks were not significantly correlated with grey nurse shark school behaviour. Jaw gaping, rapid withdrawal and stiff or jerky movement were the specific behaviours of grey nurse sharks that occurred most frequently and were associated with distance between divers and sharks and the presence of six or more divers. Revision of the number of divers allowed per interaction with a school of grey nurse sharks and further research on the potential impacts that shark-diving tourism may pose to grey nurse sharks is recommended. PMID:20872140

  19. Grey Nurse Shark ( Carcharias taurus) Diving Tourism: Tourist Compliance and Shark Behaviour at Fish Rock, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Kirby; Scarr, Mark; Scarpaci, Carol

    2010-11-01

    Humans can dive with critically endangered grey nurse sharks ( Carcharias taurus) along the east coast of Australia. This study investigated both compliance of tourist divers to a code of conduct and legislation and the behaviour of grey nurse sharks in the presence of divers. A total of 25 data collection dives were conducted from December 2008 to January 2009. Grey nurse shark and diver behaviour were documented using 2-min scan samples and continuous observation. The proportion of time spent observing human-shark interactions was 9.4% of total field time and mean human-shark interaction time was 15.0 min. Results were used to gauge the effectiveness of current management practices for the grey nurse shark dive industry at Fish Rock in New South Wales, Australia. Grey nurse shark dive tourists were compliant to stipulations in the code of conduct and legislation (compliance ranged from 88 to 100%). The research detailed factors that may promote compliance in wildlife tourism operations such as the clarity of the stipulations, locality of the target species and diver perceptions of sharks. Results indicated that grey nurse sharks spent the majority of their time milling (85%) followed by active swimming (15%). Milling behaviour significantly decreased in the presence of more than six divers. Distance between sharks and divers, interaction time and number of sharks were not significantly correlated with grey nurse shark school behaviour. Jaw gaping, rapid withdrawal and stiff or jerky movement were the specific behaviours of grey nurse sharks that occurred most frequently and were associated with distance between divers and sharks and the presence of six or more divers. Revision of the number of divers allowed per interaction with a school of grey nurse sharks and further research on the potential impacts that shark-diving tourism may pose to grey nurse sharks is recommended.

  20. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks.

    PubMed

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S; Murch, Susan J; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C; Mash, Deborah C

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds. PMID:27537913

  1. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A.; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S.; Murch, Susan J.; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds. PMID:27537913

  2. Shark skin: function in locomotion.

    PubMed

    Wainwright, S A; Vosburgh, F; Hebrank, J H

    1978-11-17

    Hydrostatic pressure under the skin of sharks varies with swimming speed. Stress in the skin varies with the internal pressure, and the skin stress controls skin stiffness. Locomotory muscles attach to the skin which is thus a whole-body exotendon whose mechanical advantage in transmitting muscular contraction is greater than that of the endoskeleton. PMID:17807247

  3. Microspectrophotometric evidence for cone monochromacy in sharks.

    PubMed

    Hart, Nathan Scott; Theiss, Susan Michelle; Harahush, Blake Kristin; Collin, Shaun Patrick

    2011-03-01

    Sharks are apex predators, and their evolutionary success is in part due to an impressive array of sensory systems, including vision. The eyes of sharks are well developed and function over a wide range of light levels. However, whilst close relatives of the sharks-the rays and chimaeras-are known to have the potential for colour vision, an evolutionary trait thought to provide distinct survival advantages, evidence for colour vision in sharks remains equivocal. Using single-receptor microspectrophotometry, we measured the absorbance spectra of visual pigments located in the retinal photoreceptors of 17 species of shark. We show that, while the spectral tuning of the rod (wavelength of maximum absorbance, λ(max) 484-518 nm) and cone (λ(max) 532-561 nm) visual pigments varies between species, each shark has only a single long-wavelength-sensitive cone type. This suggests that sharks may be cone monochromats and, therefore, potentially colour blind. Whilst cone monochromacy on land is rare, it may be a common strategy in the marine environment: many aquatic mammals (whales, dolphins and seals) also possess only a single, green-sensitive cone type. It appears that both sharks and marine mammals may have arrived at the same visual design by convergent evolution. The spectral tuning of the rod and cone pigments of sharks is also discussed in relation to their visual ecology. PMID:21212930

  4. Shark repellent: not yet, maybe never.

    PubMed

    Baldridge, H D

    1990-08-01

    An effective life jacket shark repellent packet remains an officially stated, unsatisfied requirement of the sea and air military services. Shark Chaser of World War II, a useful psychological crutch for the times, has been deemed inefficacious, and its procurement has been cancelled. Systems analyses clearly indicate inherent, irreconcilable incompatability between stringent military packet specifications and limited capabilities of known candidate chemicals to evoke rapid diminution of aggressive shark behavior. Guidelines for realistic estimates of minimum acceptable potencies are prescribed for future research on shark repellents. Prospective use of semiochemicals is considered, and corresponding changes in current research directions are suggested. PMID:2119017

  5. Sharks and people: insight into the global practices of tourism operators and their attitudes to shark behaviour.

    PubMed

    Richards, Kirsty; O'Leary, Bethan C; Roberts, Callum M; Ormond, Rupert; Gore, Mauvis; Hawkins, Julie P

    2015-02-15

    Shark tourism is a popular but controversial activity. We obtained insights into this industry via a global e-mailed questionnaire completed by 45 diving/snorkelling operators who advertised shark experiences (shark operators) and 49 who did not (non-shark operators). 42% of shark operators used an attractant to lure sharks and 93% stated they had a formal code of conduct which 86% enforced "very strictly". While sharks were reported to normally ignore people, 9 operators had experienced troublesome behaviour from them. Whilst our research corroborates previous studies indicating minimal risk to humans from most shark encounters, a precautionary approach to provisioning is required to avoid potential ecological and societal effects of shark tourism. Codes of conduct should always stipulate acceptable diver behaviour and appropriate diver numbers and shark operators should have a moral responsibility to educate their customers about the need for shark conservation. PMID:25577473

  6. Cretaceous polar climates

    SciTech Connect

    Ziegler, A.M.; Horrell, M.A.; Lottes, A.L.; Gierlowski, T.C.

    1988-01-01

    The Cretaceous, like most Phanerozooic periods, was characterized by ice-free poles. Some still argue that the glacier and sea ice were there, and that the tillites, etc, have been eroded or remain undiscovered. However, diverse floras, dense forests, coal-forming cypress swamps, and dinosaurs, crocodilians, and lungfish are known from areas that were certainly at 75/sup 0/-80/sup 0/ north and south paleolatitude in the Cretaceous, implying that the coastal basins did not experience hard freezes. No deep marine connections to the North Pole existed in the Cretaceous, so oceanic polar heat transport can be discounted. However, the five north-south trending epeiric or rift-related seaways that connected or nearly connected the Tethys to the Arctic would have dampened the seasonal temperature cycle, bringing maritime climates deep into the North American and Eurasian continents and, more importantly, would have served as an energy source and channel for winter storms, much as the Gulf Stream does today. Cyclones have a natural tendency to move poleward, because of the increase in the Coriolis Paramteter, and they transport both sensible and latent heat. The coastal regions of the relatively warm polar ocean in the Cretaceous would have received continuous precipitation during the winter because cyclones would be entering from as many as five directions. Coastal rainfall would also have been abundant in the summer but for a different reason; the land-sea temperature profile would reverse, with the warm land surface drawing in moisture, while clear ice-free conditions over the ocean would allow for solar warming.

  7. Cretaceous polar climates

    SciTech Connect

    Ziegler, A.M.; Horrell, M.A.; Lottes, A.L.; Gierlowski, T.C.

    1988-02-01

    The Cretaceous, like most Phanerozoic periods, was characterized by ice-free poles. Some still argue that the glaciers and sea ice were there, and that the tillites, etc, have been eroded or remain undiscovered. However, diverse floras, dense forests, and coal-forming cypress swamps, and dinosaurs, crocodilians, and lungfish are known from areas that were certainly at 75/degree/-80/degree/ north and south paleolatitude in the Cretaceous, implying that the coastal basins did not experience hard freezes. No deep marine connections to the North Pole existed in the Cretaceous, so oceanic polar heat transport can be discounted. However, the five north-south trending epeiric or rift-related seaways that connected or nearly connected the Tethys to the Arctic would have dampened the seasonal temperature cycle, bring maritime climates deep into the North American and Eurasian continents and, more importantly, would have served as an energy source and channel for winter storms, much as the Gulf Stream does today. Cyclones have a natural tendency to move poleward, because of the increase in the Coriolis Parameter, and they transport both sensible and latent heat. The coastal regions of the relatively warm polar ocean in the Cretaceous would have received continuous precipitation during the winter because cyclones would be entering from as many as five directions. Coastal rainfall would also have been abundant in the summer but for a different reason; the land-sea temperature profile would reverse, with the warm land surface drawing in moisture, while clear ice-free conditions over the ocean would allow for solar warming.

  8. Microspectrophotometric evidence for cone monochromacy in sharks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Nathan Scott; Theiss, Susan Michelle; Harahush, Blake Kristin; Collin, Shaun Patrick

    2011-03-01

    Sharks are apex predators, and their evolutionary success is in part due to an impressive array of sensory systems, including vision. The eyes of sharks are well developed and function over a wide range of light levels. However, whilst close relatives of the sharks—the rays and chimaeras—are known to have the potential for colour vision, an evolutionary trait thought to provide distinct survival advantages, evidence for colour vision in sharks remains equivocal. Using single-receptor microspectrophotometry, we measured the absorbance spectra of visual pigments located in the retinal photoreceptors of 17 species of shark. We show that, while the spectral tuning of the rod (wavelength of maximum absorbance, λmax 484-518 nm) and cone (λmax 532-561 nm) visual pigments varies between species, each shark has only a single long-wavelength-sensitive cone type. This suggests that sharks may be cone monochromats and, therefore, potentially colour blind. Whilst cone monochromacy on land is rare, it may be a common strategy in the marine environment: many aquatic mammals (whales, dolphins and seals) also possess only a single, green-sensitive cone type. It appears that both sharks and marine mammals may have arrived at the same visual design by convergent evolution. The spectral tuning of the rod and cone pigments of sharks is also discussed in relation to their visual ecology.

  9. Cretaceous eustasy revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haq, Bilal U.

    2014-02-01

    Eustatic sea-level changes of the Cretaceous are reevaluated based on a synthesis of global stratigraphic data. A new terminology for local/regional or relative sea-level changes (eurybatic shifts) is proposed to distinguish them from global (eustatic) sea-level changes, with the observation that all measures of sea-level change in any given location are eurybatic, even when they include a strong global signal. Solid-earth factors that influence inherited regional topography and thus modify physical measures of amplitude of the sea-level rises and falls locally are reviewed. One of these factors, dynamic topography (surface expression of mass flow in the upper mantle on land- and seascapes), is considered most pertinent in altering local measures of amplitude of sea-level events on third-order time scales (0.5-3.0 Myr). Insights gained from these models have led to the reconciliation of variance between amplitude estimates of eurybatic shifts in any given region and global measures of eustatic changes. Global estimates of third-order events can only be guesstimated at best by averaging the eurybatic data from widely distributed time-synchronous events. Revised curves for both long-term and short-term sea-level variations are presented for the Cretaceous Period. The curve representing the long-term envelope shows that average sea levels throughout the Cretaceous remained higher than the present day mean sea level (75-250 m above PDMSL). Sea level reached a trough in mid Valanginian (~ 75 m above PDMSL), followed by two high points, the first in early Barremian (~ 160-170 m above PDMSL) and the second, the highest peak of the Cretaceous, in earliest Turonian (~ 240-250 m above PDMSL). The curve also displays two ~ 20 Myr-long periods of relatively high and stable sea levels (Aptian through early Albian and Coniacian through Campanian). The short-term curve identifies 58 third-order eustatic events in the Cretaceous, most have been documented in several basins, while

  10. Cretaceous source rocks in Pakistan

    SciTech Connect

    Kari, I.B. )

    1993-02-01

    Pakistan is located at the converging boundaries of the Indian, Arabian, and Eurasian plates. Evolution of this tectonic setting has provided an array of environmental habitats for deposition of petroleum source rocks and development of structural forms. The potential Cretaceous source rocks in Central and South Indus Basin are spread over an area of about 300,000 km[sup 2]. With 2% cutoff on Total Organic Carbon, the average source rock thickness is 30-50 m, which is estimated to have generated more than 200 billion bbl of oil equivalent. To date, production of more than 30,000 bbl of oil and about 1200 million ft[sup 3] of gas per day can be directly attributed to Cretaceous source. This basin was an area of extensional tectonics during the Lower to Middle Cretaceous associated with slightly restricted circulation of the sea waters at the north-western margin of Indian Plate. Lower Cretaceous source rocks (Sembar Formation) were deposited while the basin was opening up and anoxia was prevailing. Similarly Middle to Upper Cretaceous clastics were deposited in setting favorable for preservation of organic matter. The time and depth of burial of the Cretaceous source material and optimum thermal regime have provided the requisite maturation level for generation of hydrocarbons in the basin. Central Indus basin is characterized by Cretaceous source rocks mature for gas generation. However, in South Indus Basin Cretaceous source rocks lie within the oil window in some parts and have gone past it in others.

  11. The Ecological Role of Sharks on Coral Reefs.

    PubMed

    Roff, George; Doropoulos, Christopher; Rogers, Alice; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Krueck, Nils C; Aurellado, Eleanor; Priest, Mark; Birrell, Chico; Mumby, Peter J

    2016-05-01

    Sharks are considered the apex predator of coral reefs, but the consequences of their global depletion are uncertain. Here we explore the ecological roles of sharks on coral reefs and, conversely, the importance of reefs for sharks. We find that most reef-associated shark species do not act as apex predators but instead function as mesopredators along with a diverse group of reef fish. While sharks perform important direct and indirect ecological roles, the evidence to support hypothesised shark-driven trophic cascades that benefit corals is weak and equivocal. Coral reefs provide some functional benefits to sharks, but sharks do not appear to favour healthier reef environments. Restoring populations of sharks is important and can yet deliver ecological surprise. PMID:26975420

  12. The Effect of Background Music in Shark Documentaries on Viewers' Perceptions of Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Hastings, Philip A.; Gneezy, Ayelet

    2016-01-01

    Despite the ongoing need for shark conservation and management, prevailing negative sentiments marginalize these animals and legitimize permissive exploitation. These negative attitudes arise from an instinctive, yet exaggerated fear, which is validated and reinforced by disproportionate and sensationalistic news coverage of shark ‘attacks’ and by highlighting shark-on-human violence in popular movies and documentaries. In this study, we investigate another subtler, yet powerful factor that contributes to this fear: the ominous background music that often accompanies shark footage in documentaries. Using three experiments, we show that participants rated sharks more negatively and less positively after viewing a 60-second video clip of swimming sharks set to ominous background music, compared to participants who watched the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence. This finding was not an artifact of soundtrack alone because attitudes toward sharks did not differ among participants assigned to audio-only control treatments. This is the first study to demonstrate empirically that the connotative attributes of background music accompanying shark footage affect viewers’ attitudes toward sharks. Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content. PMID:27487003

  13. The Effect of Background Music in Shark Documentaries on Viewers' Perceptions of Sharks.

    PubMed

    Nosal, Andrew P; Keenan, Elizabeth A; Hastings, Philip A; Gneezy, Ayelet

    2016-01-01

    Despite the ongoing need for shark conservation and management, prevailing negative sentiments marginalize these animals and legitimize permissive exploitation. These negative attitudes arise from an instinctive, yet exaggerated fear, which is validated and reinforced by disproportionate and sensationalistic news coverage of shark 'attacks' and by highlighting shark-on-human violence in popular movies and documentaries. In this study, we investigate another subtler, yet powerful factor that contributes to this fear: the ominous background music that often accompanies shark footage in documentaries. Using three experiments, we show that participants rated sharks more negatively and less positively after viewing a 60-second video clip of swimming sharks set to ominous background music, compared to participants who watched the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence. This finding was not an artifact of soundtrack alone because attitudes toward sharks did not differ among participants assigned to audio-only control treatments. This is the first study to demonstrate empirically that the connotative attributes of background music accompanying shark footage affect viewers' attitudes toward sharks. Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content. PMID:27487003

  14. Virgin birth in a hammerhead shark.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Demian D; Shivji, Mahmood S; Louis, Ed; Sommer, Julie; Fletcher, Hugh; Prodöhl, Paulo A

    2007-08-22

    Parthenogenesis has been documented in all major jawed vertebrate lineages except mammals and cartilaginous fishes (class Chondrichthyes: sharks, batoids and chimeras). Reports of captive female sharks giving birth despite being held in the extended absence of males have generally been ascribed to prior matings coupled with long-term sperm storage by the females. Here, we provide the first genetic evidence for chondrichthyan parthenogenesis, involving a hammerhead shark (Sphyrna tiburo). This finding also broadens the known occurrence of a specific type of asexual development (automictic parthenogenesis) among vertebrates, extending recently raised concerns about the potential negative effect of this type of facultative parthenogenesis on the genetic diversity of threatened vertebrate species. PMID:17519185

  15. Population trends in Pacific Oceanic sharks and the utility of regulations on shark finning.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Shelley C; Harley, Shelton J; Hoyle, Simon D; Rice, Joel S

    2013-02-01

    Accurate assessment of shark population status is essential for conservation but is often constrained by limited and unreliable data. To provide a basis for improved management of shark resources, we analyzed a long-term record of species-specific catches, sizes, and sexes of sharks collected by onboard observers in the western and central Pacific Ocean from 1995 to 2010. Using generalized linear models, we estimated population-status indicators on the basis of catch rate and biological indicators of fishing pressure on the basis of median size to identify trends for blue (Prionace glauca), mako (Isurus spp.), oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus), and silky (Carcharhinus falciformis) sharks. Standardized catch rates of longline fleets declined significantly for blue sharks in the North Pacific (by 5% per year [CI 2% to 8%]), for mako sharks in the North Pacific (by 7% per year [CI 3% to 11%]), and for oceanic whitetip sharks in tropical waters (by 17% per year [CI 14% to 20%]). Median lengths of silky and oceanic whitetip sharks decreased significantly in their core habitat, and almost all sampled silky sharks were immature. Our results are consistent with results of analyses of similar data sets. Combined, these results and evidence of targeted fishing for sharks in some regional fisheries heighten concerns for sustainable utilization, particularly for oceanic whitetip and North Pacific blue sharks. Regional regulations that prohibit shark finning (removal of fins and discarding of the carcass) were enacted in 2007 and are in many cases the only form of control on shark catches. However, there is little evidence of a reduction of finning in longline fisheries. In addition, silky and oceanic whitetip sharks are more frequently retained than finned, which suggests that even full implementation of and adherence to a finning prohibition may not substantially reduce mortality rates for these species. We argue that finning prohibitions divert attention from

  16. Methylmercury in dried shark fins and shark fin soup from American restaurants.

    PubMed

    Nalluri, Deepthi; Baumann, Zofia; Abercrombie, Debra L; Chapman, Demian D; Hammerschmidt, Chad R; Fisher, Nicholas S

    2014-10-15

    Consumption of meat from large predatory sharks exposes human consumers to high levels of toxic monomethylmercury (MMHg). There also have been claims that shark fins, and hence the Asian delicacy shark fin soup, contain harmful levels of neurotoxic chemicals in combination with MMHg, although concentrations of MMHg in shark fins are unknown. We measured MMHg in dried, unprocessed fins (n=50) of 13 shark species that occur in the international trade of dried shark fins as well as 50 samples of shark fin soup prepared by restaurants from around the United States. Concentrations of MMHg in fins ranged from 9 to 1720 ng/g dry wt. MMHg in shark fin soup ranged from <0.01 to 34 ng/mL, with MMHg averaging 62 ± 7% of total Hg. The highest concentrations of MMHg and total Hg were observed in both fins and soup from large, high trophic level sharks such as hammerheads (Sphyrna spp.). Consumption of a 240 mL bowl of shark fin soup containing the average concentration of MMHg (4.6 ng/mL) would result in a dose of 1.1 μg MMHg, which is 16% of the U.S. EPA's reference dose (0.1 μg MMHg per 1 kg per day in adults) of 7.4 μg per day for a 74 kg person. If consumed, the soup containing the highest measured MMHg concentration would exceed the reference dose by 17%. While shark fin soup represents a potentially important source of MMHg to human consumers, other seafood products, particularly the flesh of apex marine predators, contain much higher MMHg concentrations and can result in substantially greater exposures of this contaminant for people. PMID:24835340

  17. Size of the great white shark (carcharodon).

    PubMed

    Randall, J E

    1973-07-13

    The maximum length of 36.5 feet (11.1 meters) attributed to the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) by Günther and others is a mistake. Examination of the jaws and teeth of the specimen referred to by Günther and comparison with the jaws of white sharks of known length revealed a length of about 17 feet ( approximately 5 meters). The largest white shark reliably measured was a 21-foot (6.4-meter) individual from Cuba. Bites on whale carcasses found off southern Australia suggest that white sharks as long as 25 or 26 feet (7 (1/2) or 8 meters) exist today. The size of extinct Carcharodon has also been grossly exaggerated. Based on a projection of a curve of tooth size of Recent Carcharodon carcharias, the largest fossil Carcharodon were about 43 feet ( approximately 13 meters) long. PMID:17746627

  18. Preferred conservation policies of shark researchers.

    PubMed

    Shiffman, David S; Hammerschlag, Neil

    2016-08-01

    There is increasing concern about the conservation status of sharks. However, the presence of numerous different (and potentially mutually exclusive) policies complicates management implementation and public understanding of the process. We distributed an online survey to members of the largest professional shark and ray research societies to assess member knowledge of and attitudes toward different conservation policies. Questions covered society member opinions on conservation and management policies, personal histories of involvement in advocacy and management, and perceptions of the approach of conservation nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to shark conservation. One hundred and two surveys were completed (overall response rate 21%). Respondents considered themselves knowledgeable about and actively involved in conservation and management policy; a majority believed scientists have a responsibility to advocate for conservation (75%), and majorities have sent formal public comments to policymakers (54%) and included policy suggestions in their papers (53%). They believe sustainable shark fisheries are possible, are currently happening today (in a few places), and should be the goal instead of banning fisheries. Respondents were generally less supportive of newer limit-based (i.e., policies that ban exploitation entirely without a species-specific focus) conservation policy tools, such as shark sanctuaries and bans on the sale of shark fins, than of target-based fisheries management tools (i.e., policies that allow for sustainable harvest of species whose populations can withstand it), such as fishing quotas. Respondents were generally supportive of environmental NGO efforts to conserve sharks but raised concerns about some NGOs that they perceived as using incorrect information and focusing on the wrong problems. Our results show there is an ongoing debate in shark conservation and management circles relative to environmental policy on target-based natural

  19. Resilience of Pacific pelagic fish across the Cretaceous/Palaeogene mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, Elizabeth C.; Hull, Pincelli M.; Norris, Richard D.

    2014-09-01

    Open-ocean ecosystems experienced profound disruptions to biodiversity and ecological structure during the Cretaceous/Palaeogene mass extinction about 66 million years ago. It has been suggested that during this mass extinction, a collapse of phytoplankton production rippled up the food chain, causing the wholesale loss of consumers and top predators. Pelagic fish represent a key trophic link between primary producers and top predators, and changes in their abundance provide a means to examine trophic relationships during extinctions. Here we analyse accumulation rates of microscopic fish teeth and shark dermal scales (ichthyoliths) in sediments from the Pacific Ocean and Tethys Sea across the Cretaceous/Palaeogene extinction to reconstruct fish abundance. We find geographic differences in post-disaster ecosystems. In the Tethys Sea, fish abundance fell abruptly at the Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary and remained depressed for at least 3 million years. In contrast, fish abundance in the Pacific Ocean remained at or above pre-boundary levels for at least four million years following the mass extinction, despite marked extinctions in primary producers and other zooplankton consumers in this region. We suggest that the mass extinction did not produce a uniformly dead ocean or microbially dominated system. Instead, primary production, at least regionally, supported ecosystems with mid-trophic-level abundances similar to or above those of the Late Cretaceous.

  20. 77 FR 57022 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River, Avon, NJ

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-17

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River, Avon, NJ AGENCY: Coast..., and the S35 bridge, mile 0.9, all of which are across the Shark River (South Channel), at Avon Township, NJ. This deviation is necessary to facilitate stringer replacement on the Shark River...

  1. Recovery of human remains after shark attack.

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W; James, Ross A; Heath, Karen J

    2006-09-01

    Two cases of fatal shark attack are reported where the only tissues recovered were fragments of lung. Case 1: An 18-year-old male who was in the sea behind a boat was observed by friends to be taken by a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). The shark dragged him under the water and then, with a second shark, dismembered the body. Witnesses noted a large amount of blood and unrecognizable body parts coming to the surface. The only tissues recovered despite an intensive beach and sea search were 2 fragments of lung. Case 2: A 19-year-old male was attacked by a great white shark while diving. A witness saw the shark swim away with the victim's body in its mouth. Again, despite intensive beach and sea searches, the only tissue recovered was a single piece of lung, along with pieces of wetsuit and diving equipment. These cases indicate that the only tissue to escape being consumed or lost in fatal shark attacks, where there is a significant attack with dismemberment and disruption of the integrity of the body, may be lung. The buoyancy of aerated pulmonary tissue ensures that it rises quickly to the surface, where it may be recovered by searchers soon after the attack. Aeration of the lung would be in keeping with death from trauma rather than from drowning and may be a useful marker in unwitnessed deaths to separate ante- from postmortem injury, using only relatively small amounts of tissues. Early organ recovery enhances the identification of human tissues as the extent of morphologic alterations by putrefactive processes and sea scavengers will have been minimized. DNA testing is also possible on such recovered fragments, enabling confirmation of the identity of the victim. PMID:16936505

  2. Assembly and Expression of Shark Ig Genes.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Ellen

    2016-05-01

    Sharks are modern descendants of the earliest vertebrates possessing Ig superfamily receptor-based adaptive immunity. They respond to immunogen with Abs that, upon boosting, appear more rapidly and show affinity maturation. Specific Abs and immunological memory imply that Ab diversification and clonal selection exist in cartilaginous fish. Shark Ag receptors are generated through V(D)J recombination, and because it is a mechanism known to generate autoreactive receptors, this implies that shark lymphocytes undergo selection. In the mouse, the ∼2.8-Mb IgH and IgL loci require long-range, differential activation of component parts for V(D)J recombination, allelic exclusion, and receptor editing. These processes, including class switching, evolved with and appear inseparable from the complex locus organization. In contrast, shark Igs are encoded by 100-200 autonomously rearranging miniloci. This review describes how the shark primary Ab repertoire is generated in the absence of structural features considered essential in mammalian Ig gene assembly and expression. PMID:27183649

  3. Something worth remembering: visual discrimination in sharks.

    PubMed

    Fuss, Theodora; Schluessel, Vera

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated memory retention capabilities of juvenile gray bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium griseum) using two-alternative forced-choice experiments. The sharks had previously been trained in a range of visual discrimination tasks, such as distinguishing between squares, triangles and lines, and their corresponding optical illusions (i.e., the Kanizsa figures or Müller-Lyer illusions), and in the present study, we tested them for memory retention. Despite the absence of reinforcement, sharks remembered the learned information for a period of up to 50 weeks, after which testing was terminated. In fish, as in other vertebrates, memory windows vary in duration depending on species and task; while it may seem beneficial to retain some information for a long time or even indefinitely, other information may be forgotten more easily to retain flexibility and save energy. The results of this study indicate that sharks are capable of long-term memory within the framework of selected cognitive skills. These could aid sharks in activities such as food retrieval, predator avoidance, mate choice or habitat selection and therefore be worth being remembered for extended periods of time. As in other cognitive tasks, intraspecific differences reflected the behavioral breadth of the species. PMID:25359522

  4. Opportunity Studies Bait in Shark's Cage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    In its 49th sol on Mars, NASA's Opportunity had nearly concluded its scientific examination of the extreme southwestern end of the outcrop in Meridiani Planum. In the 'Shark's Cage' area of the neighborhood called 'Shoemaker's Patio,' featured in this image from the front hazard avoidance camera, Opportunity deployed its arm to study the features called 'Shark's Tooth,' 'Shark Pellets,' and 'Lamination.' 'Shark's Tooth' is a piece of the unusual red rind that appears to fill cracks in the outcrop. This rind may be some kind of chemical alteration of the rocks. 'Shark Pellets' is an area of soil that was under investigation as part of the crater soil survey. 'Lamination' is a target with very thin layers that resemble uniform pages in a book, an indication of how the sediments were deposited. A final experiment in this area will be attempted on sol 51. Opportunity's front left wheel will 'scuff' the rock called 'Carousel.' 'Scuffing' involves scraping the rock with one wheel while holding all the others still. This experiment essentially turns the rover wheels into tools, to try and determine the hardness of the target rock.

  5. Bacteriology of the teeth from a great white shark: potential medical implications for shark bite victims.

    PubMed Central

    Buck, J D; Spotte, S; Gadbaw, J J

    1984-01-01

    Bacteria were cultured for the first time from the teeth of a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). Isolates included Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio fluvialis, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and other genera. All are common in the marine environment and some may be associated with wound infections in humans. Shark bite lacerations may serve as a source of these potentially infectious bacteria, particularly Vibrio spp., and should be treated immediately. Antibiotic susceptibility patterns are shown for representatives of Vibrio isolates and indicate that a variety of new agents may be appropriate chemotherapy for shark bite victims. PMID:6511869

  6. Bacteriology of the teeth from a great white shark: potential medical implications for shark bite victims.

    PubMed

    Buck, J D; Spotte, S; Gadbaw, J J

    1984-11-01

    Bacteria were cultured for the first time from the teeth of a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). Isolates included Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio fluvialis, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and other genera. All are common in the marine environment and some may be associated with wound infections in humans. Shark bite lacerations may serve as a source of these potentially infectious bacteria, particularly Vibrio spp., and should be treated immediately. Antibiotic susceptibility patterns are shown for representatives of Vibrio isolates and indicate that a variety of new agents may be appropriate chemotherapy for shark bite victims. PMID:6511869

  7. Cross matching of blood in carcharhiniform, lamniform, and orectolobiform sharks.

    PubMed

    Hadfield, Catherine A; Haines, Ashley N; Clayton, Leigh A; Whitaker, Brent R

    2010-09-01

    The transfusion of whole blood in elasmobranchs could provide cardiovascular support following hemorrhage. Since donor and recipient compatibility is not known, a technique was established to allow cross matching of red blood cells and serum in sharks. Cross matching was carried out among 19 individuals from seven species: the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), sandtiger shark (Carcharias taurus), white-spotted bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium plagiosum), brown-banded bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum), zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum), and spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus). Negative cross-matches showed no agglutination or hemolysis, suggesting that donor and recipient would be compatible. Cross-matches between conspecifics were all negative (sandbar, sandtiger, nurse, and white-spotted bamboo sharks). All cross-matches between sandbar and sandtiger sharks were also negative. Positive crossmatches consisted of agglutination or hemolysis of red blood cells, suggesting that the donor and recipient would be incompatible. Strong positive reactions occurred, for example, with red blood cells from sandtiger and sandbar sharks and serum from nurse sharks. Cross matching should be carried out in elasmobranchs prior to any blood transfusion. PMID:20945647

  8. Kinematics and critical swimming speed of juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks

    PubMed

    Lowe

    1996-01-01

    Kinematics and critical swimming speed (Ucrit) of juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks Sphyrna lewini were measured in a Brett-type flume (635 l). Kinematic parameters were also measured in sharks swimming in a large pond for comparison with those of sharks swimming in the flume. Sharks in the flume exhibited a mean Ucrit of 65±11 cm s-1 (± s.d.) or 1.17±0.21 body lengths per second (L s-1), which are similar to values for other species of sharks. In both the flume and pond, tailbeat frequency (TBF) and stride length (LS) increased linearly with increases in relative swimming speed (Urel=body lengths traveled per second). In the flume, tailbeat amplitude (TBA) decreased with increasing speed whereas TBA did not change with speed in the pond. Differences in TBF and LS between sharks swimming in the flume and the pond decreased with increases in Urel. Sharks swimming at slow speeds (e.g. 0.55 L s-1) in the pond had LS 19 % longer and TBF 21 % lower than sharks in the flume at the same Urel. This implies that sharks in the flume expended more energy while swimming at comparable velocities. Comparative measurements of swimming kinematics from sharks in the pond can be used to correct for effects of the flume on shark swimming kinematics and energetics. PMID:9320537

  9. Late cretaceous and paroxysmal cretaceous/tertiary extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Officer, Charles B.; Drake, Charles L.; Hallam, Anthony; Devine, Joseph D.

    1987-03-01

    The various geological signatures at Cretaceous/Tertiary time including iridium and other associated elements, microspherules, and shock deformation features are compatible with the suggestion that the transition is marked by a period of intense volcanism. The volatile emissions from this volcanism would lead to acid rain, reduction in the alkalinity and pH of the surface ocean, global atmospheric temperature changes, and ozone layer depletion. These environmental effects coupled with those related to the major sea level regression of the late Cretaceous provide the framework for an explanation of the selective nature of the observed extinction record.

  10. Evolution of the trypanorhynch tapeworms: parasite phylogeny supports independent lineages of sharks and rays.

    PubMed

    Olson, Peter D; Caira, Janine N; Jensen, Kirsten; Overstreet, Robin M; Palm, Harry W; Beveridge, Ian

    2010-02-01

    rajiform batoids and carcharhiniform sharks. This fundamental split provides independent support for rejecting the notion that rays are derived sharks, and thus supports the most recent molecular phylogenies of the Neoselachii. Beyond the basal split between shark- and ray-inhabiting lineages, no pattern was found to suggest that the trypanorhynchs have closely tracked the evolutionary histories of these host lineages, but instead, it appears that host-switching has been common and that the subsequent evolution of the parasites has been ecologically driven primarily through overlap in the niches of their shark and ray hosts. Using a relaxed molecular clock model calibrated by means of host fossil data, the ray-inhabiting lineage is estimated to have diversified around the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, whereas the shark-inhabiting lineage is estimated to have diversified later, in the Middle Cretaceous. Although the large error associated with the estimated divergence dates prevents robust conclusions from being drawn, the dates are nevertheless found to be consistent in a relative sense with the origins of their major hosts groups. The erection and definition of the suborders Trypanobatoida and Trypanoselachoida, for the major clades of trypanorhynchs parasitizing primarily rays and sharks, respectively, is proposed for the two primary lineages recovered here. PMID:19761769

  11. Fatal tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier attack in New Caledonia erroneously ascribed to great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.

    PubMed

    Tirard, Philippe; Maillaud, Claude; Borsa, Philippe

    2015-07-01

    To understand the causes and patterns of shark attacks on humans, accurate identification of the shark species involved is necessary. Often, the only reliable evidence for this comes from the characteristics of the wounds exhibited by the victim. The present case report is intended as a reappraisal of the Luengoni, 2007 case (International Shark Attack File no. 4299) where a single shark bite provoked the death of a swimmer by haemorrhagic shock. Our examination of the wounds on the body of the victim, here documented by so-far unpublished photographic evidence, determined that the shark possessed large and homodontous jaws. This demonstrates that the attacker was a tiger shark, not a great white shark as previously published. PMID:26048500

  12. Allometric relationships of the dentition of the great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, in forensic investigations of shark attacks.

    PubMed

    Nambiar, P; Bridges, T E; Brown, K A

    1991-06-01

    As a result of a systematic morphometric study of shark dentitions, a system of notation for describing the location of shark teeth has been developed and is proposed as a standard to be adopted for use in similar studies in the future. The macroscopic morphology of White Shark teeth has been characterised in order to gain quantitative data which might assist in identification of these sharks from bite marks on victims or objects or from shark carcasses. Using these data, a nomogram has been developed which can be used to estimate the body length of a White Shark from measurements of tooth or bite mark morphology. An example of the forensic application of such allometric data is provided as it applied to a recent fatal attack on a diver by a White Shark. PMID:1814935

  13. From Jaws to Laws--Now the Big, Bad Shark Needs Protection from Us.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conniff, Richard

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the National Marine Fisheries Service plan to protect sharks from the recent expansion in the shark fishing industry. Contains information about different shark species and their behavior. (MDH)

  14. Reef sharks: recent advances in ecological understanding to inform conservation.

    PubMed

    Osgood, G J; Baum, J K

    2015-12-01

    Sharks are increasingly being recognized as important members of coral-reef communities, but their overall conservation status remains uncertain. Nine of the 29 reef-shark species are designated as data deficient in the IUCN Red List, and three-fourths of reef sharks had unknown population trends at the time of their assessment. Fortunately, reef-shark research is on the rise. This new body of research demonstrates reef sharks' high site restriction, fidelity and residency on coral reefs, their broad trophic roles connecting reef communities and their high population genetic structure, all information that should be useful for their management and conservation. Importantly, recent studies on the abundance and population trends of the three classic carcharhinid reef sharks (grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus and whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus) may contribute to reassessments identifying them as more vulnerable than currently realized. Because over half of the research effort has focused on only these three reef sharks and the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum in only a few locales, there remain large taxonomic and geographic gaps in reef-shark knowledge. As such, a large portion of reef-shark biodiversity remains uncharacterized despite needs for targeted research identified in their red list assessments. A research agenda for the future should integrate abundance, life history, trophic ecology, genetics, habitat use and movement studies, and expand the breadth of such research to understudied species and localities, in order to better understand the conservation requirements of these species and to motivate effective conservation solutions. PMID:26709218

  15. Cretaceous paleogeography of Peninsular California

    SciTech Connect

    Gastil, R.G.

    1986-04-01

    For the past 15 years, paleomagnetic studies on various rock types have consistently shown southern and Baja California to have been located at 10/sup 0/-17/sup 0/ lower latitude, relative to cratonal North America, than it is today. Similar studies on the Salinian block and in southwestern Oregon also indicate substantially lower latitudes for the deposition of Upper Cretaceous rocks. In seeming contradiction, apparent correlations across the Gulf of California plate boundary relate Cambrian(.) to Triassic stratal rocks of Sonora and the Great Basin to their contemporaries in Baja California, and Jurassic and Cretaceous arc rocks in the peninsula to those in mainland Mexico. Therefore, relative movement along the San Andreas system seems limited to approximately 300 km in a right-lateral direction since the Miocene. A possible accommodation to both sets of evidence places the Baja Peninsula near its present position relative to cratonal North America until about the Middle Jurassic, when it began moving relatively southeastward. This left-lateral motion placed it about 11/sup 0/ southeast by the Aptian-Albian and 17/sup 0/ southeast by the Campanian-Maestrichtian. The Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous arcs trended southeast through Sonora, Sinaloa, and Jalisco, and then down the length of peninsular California. The right-lateral return of the peninsula began during the Late Cretaceous. The fault systems for the return motion cannot lie west of the Gulf of California, and thus, neither can the earlier left-lateral fault.

  16. Shark Attack! Sinking Your Teeth into Anatomy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    House, Herbert

    2002-01-01

    Presents a real life shark attack story and studies arm reattachment surgery to teach human anatomy. Discusses how knowledge of anatomy can be put to use in the real world and how the arm functions. Includes teaching notes and suggestions for classroom management. (YDS)

  17. 77 FR 37647 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Silky Shark Management Measures

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-22

    ...) recommendation 11-08, which prohibits retaining, transshipping, or landing of silky sharks (Carcharhinus... any part or whole carcass of a silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis). The recommendation cites...

  18. Use of forensic analysis to better understand shark attack behaviour.

    PubMed

    Ritter, E; Levine, M

    2004-12-01

    Shark attacks have primarily been analyzed from wound patterns, with little knowledge of a shark's approach, behaviour and intention leading to such wounds. For the first time, during a shark-human interaction project in South Africa, a white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, was filmed biting a vertically positioned person at the water surface, and exhibiting distinct approach patterns leading to the bite. This bite was compared to ten white shark attacks that occurred (i) in the same geographical area of South Africa, and (ii) where the same body parts were bitten. Close similarity of some of these wound patterns to the bite imprint of the videotaped case indicate that the observed behaviour of the white shark may represent a common pattern of approaching and biting humans. PMID:16223019

  19. The hydrodynamic function of shark skin and two biomimetic applications.

    PubMed

    Oeffner, Johannes; Lauder, George V

    2012-03-01

    It has long been suspected that the denticles on shark skin reduce hydrodynamic drag during locomotion, and a number of man-made materials have been produced that purport to use shark-skin-like surface roughness to reduce drag during swimming. But no studies to date have tested these claims of drag reduction under dynamic and controlled conditions in which the swimming speed and hydrodynamics of shark skin and skin-like materials can be quantitatively compared with those of controls lacking surface ornamentation or with surfaces in different orientations. We use a flapping foil robotic device that allows accurate determination of the self-propelled swimming (SPS) speed of both rigid and flexible membrane-like foils made of shark skin and two biomimetic models of shark skin to measure locomotor performance. We studied the SPS speed of real shark skin, a silicone riblet material with evenly spaced ridges and a Speedo® 'shark skin-like' swimsuit fabric attached to rigid flat-plate foils and when made into flexible membrane-like foils. We found no consistent increase in swimming speed with Speedo® fabric, a 7.2% increase with riblet material, whereas shark skin membranes (but not rigid shark skin plates) showed a mean 12.3% increase in swimming speed compared with the same skin foils after removing the denticles. Deformation of the shark skin membrane is thus crucial to the drag-reducing effect of surface denticles. Digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) of the flow field surrounding moving shark skin foils shows that skin denticles promote enhanced leading-edge suction, which might have contributed to the observed increase in swimming speed. Shark skin denticles might thus enhance thrust, as well as reduce drag. PMID:22323201

  20. Seasonal and long-term changes in relative abundance of bull sharks from a tourist shark feeding site in Fiji.

    PubMed

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M; Baensch, Harald

    2011-01-01

    Shark tourism has become increasingly popular, but remains controversial because of major concerns originating from the need of tour operators to use bait or chum to reliably attract sharks. We used direct underwater sampling to document changes in bull shark Carcharhinus leucas relative abundance at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a shark feeding site in Fiji, and the reproductive cycle of the species in Fijian waters. Between 2003 and 2009, the total number of C. leucas counted on each day ranged from 0 to 40. Whereas the number of C. leucas counted at the feeding site increased over the years, shark numbers decreased over the course of a calendar year with fewest animals counted in November. Externally visible reproductive status information indicates that the species' seasonal departure from the feeding site may be related to reproductive activity. PMID:21346792

  1. Seasonal and Long-Term Changes in Relative Abundance of Bull Sharks from a Tourist Shark Feeding Site in Fiji

    PubMed Central

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M.; Baensch, Harald

    2011-01-01

    Shark tourism has become increasingly popular, but remains controversial because of major concerns originating from the need of tour operators to use bait or chum to reliably attract sharks. We used direct underwater sampling to document changes in bull shark Carcharhinus leucas relative abundance at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a shark feeding site in Fiji, and the reproductive cycle of the species in Fijian waters. Between 2003 and 2009, the total number of C. leucas counted on each day ranged from 0 to 40. Whereas the number of C. leucas counted at the feeding site increased over the years, shark numbers decreased over the course of a calendar year with fewest animals counted in November. Externally visible reproductive status information indicates that the species' seasonal departure from the feeding site may be related to reproductive activity. PMID:21346792

  2. Shark cartilage, cancer and the growing threat of pseudoscience.

    PubMed

    Ostrander, Gary K; Cheng, Keith C; Wolf, Jeffrey C; Wolfe, Marilyn J

    2004-12-01

    The promotion of crude shark cartilage extracts as a cure for cancer has contributed to at least two significant negative outcomes: a dramatic decline in shark populations and a diversion of patients from effective cancer treatments. An alleged lack of cancer in sharks constitutes a key justification for its use. Herein, both malignant and benign neoplasms of sharks and their relatives are described, including previously unreported cases from the Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals, and two sharks with two cancers each. Additional justifications for using shark cartilage are illogical extensions of the finding of antiangiogenic and anti-invasive substances in cartilage. Scientific evidence to date supports neither the efficacy of crude cartilage extracts nor the ability of effective components to reach and eradicate cancer cells. The fact that people think shark cartilage consumption can cure cancer illustrates the serious potential impacts of pseudoscience. Although components of shark cartilage may work as a cancer retardant, crude extracts are ineffective. Efficiencies of technology (e.g., fish harvesting), the power of mass media to reach the lay public, and the susceptibility of the public to pseudoscience amplifies the negative impacts of shark cartilage use. To facilitate the use of reason as the basis of public and private decision-making, the evidence-based mechanisms of evaluation used daily by the scientific community should be added to the training of media and governmental professionals. Increased use of logical, collaborative discussion will be necessary to ensure a sustainable future for man and the biosphere. PMID:15574750

  3. Thresher Sharks Use Tail-Slaps as a Hunting Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Simon P.; Turner, John R.; Gann, Klemens; Silvosa, Medel; D'Urban Jackson, Tim

    2013-01-01

    The hunting strategies of pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) were investigated at Pescador Island in the Philippines. It has long been suspected that thresher sharks hunt with their scythe-like tails but the kinematics associated with the behaviour in the wild are poorly understood. From 61 observations recorded by handheld underwater video camera between June and October 2010, 25 thresher shark shunting events were analysed. Thresher sharks employed tail-slaps to debilitate sardines at all times of day. Hunting events comprised preparation, strike, wind-down recovery and prey item collection phases, which occurred sequentially. Preparation phases were significantly longer than the others, presumably to enable a shark to windup a tail-slap. Tail-slaps were initiated by an adduction of the pectoral fins, a manoeuvre that changed a thresher shark's pitch promoting its posterior region to lift rapidly, and stall its approach. Tail-slaps occurred with such force that they may have caused dissolved gas to diffuse out of the water column forming bubbles. Thresher sharks were able to consume more than one sardine at a time, suggesting that tail-slapping is an effective foraging strategy for hunting schooling prey. Pelagic thresher sharks appear to pursue sardines opportunistically by day and night, which may make them vulnerable to fisheries. Alopiids possess specialist pectoral and caudal fins that are likely to have evolved, at least in part, for tail-slapping. The evidence is now clear; thresher sharks really do hunt with their tails. PMID:23874415

  4. Collapse and conservation of shark populations in the Northwest Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Baum, Julia K; Myers, Ransom A; Kehler, Daniel G; Worm, Boris; Harley, Shelton J; Doherty, Penny A

    2003-01-17

    Overexploitation threatens the future of many large vertebrates. In the ocean, tunas and sea turtles are current conservation concerns because of this intense pressure. The status of most shark species, in contrast, remains uncertain. Using the largest data set in the Northwest Atlantic, we show rapid large declines in large coastal and oceanic shark populations. Scalloped hammerhead, white, and thresher sharks are each estimated to have declined by over 75% in the past 15 years. Closed-area models highlight priority areas for shark conservation, and the need to consider effort reallocation and site selection if marine reserves are to benefit multiple threatened species. PMID:12532016

  5. Social learning in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris.

    PubMed

    Guttridge, Tristan L; van Dijk, Sander; Stamhuis, Eize J; Krause, Jens; Gruber, Samuel H; Brown, Culum

    2013-01-01

    Social learning is taxonomically widespread and can provide distinct behavioural advantages, such as in finding food or avoiding predators more efficiently. Although extensively studied in bony fishes, no such empirical evidence exists for cartilaginous fishes. Our aim in this study was to experimentally investigate the social learning capabilities of juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. We designed a novel food task, where sharks were required to enter a start zone and subsequently make physical contact with a target in order to receive a food reward. Naive sharks were then able to interact with and observe (a) pre-trained sharks, that is, 'demonstrators', or (b) sharks with no previous experience, that is, 'sham demonstrators'. On completion, observer sharks were then isolated and tested individually in a similar task. During the exposure phase observers paired with 'demonstrator' sharks performed a greater number of task-related behaviours and made significantly more transitions from the start zone to the target, than observers paired with 'sham demonstrators'. When tested in isolation, observers previously paired with 'demonstrator' sharks completed a greater number of trials and made contact with the target significantly more often than observers previously paired with 'sham demonstrators'. Such experience also tended to result in faster overall task performance. These results indicate that juvenile lemon sharks, like numerous other animals, are capable of using socially derived information to learn about novel features in their environment. The results likely have important implications for behavioural processes, ecotourism and fisheries. PMID:22933179

  6. Thresher sharks use tail-slaps as a hunting strategy.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Simon P; Turner, John R; Gann, Klemens; Silvosa, Medel; D'Urban Jackson, Tim

    2013-01-01

    The hunting strategies of pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) were investigated at Pescador Island in the Philippines. It has long been suspected that thresher sharks hunt with their scythe-like tails but the kinematics associated with the behaviour in the wild are poorly understood. From 61 observations recorded by handheld underwater video camera between June and October 2010, 25 thresher shark shunting events were analysed. Thresher sharks employed tail-slaps to debilitate sardines at all times of day. Hunting events comprised preparation, strike, wind-down recovery and prey item collection phases, which occurred sequentially. Preparation phases were significantly longer than the others, presumably to enable a shark to windup a tail-slap. Tail-slaps were initiated by an adduction of the pectoral fins, a manoeuvre that changed a thresher shark's pitch promoting its posterior region to lift rapidly, and stall its approach. Tail-slaps occurred with such force that they may have caused dissolved gas to diffuse out of the water column forming bubbles. Thresher sharks were able to consume more than one sardine at a time, suggesting that tail-slapping is an effective foraging strategy for hunting schooling prey. Pelagic thresher sharks appear to pursue sardines opportunistically by day and night, which may make them vulnerable to fisheries. Alopiids possess specialist pectoral and caudal fins that are likely to have evolved, at least in part, for tail-slapping. The evidence is now clear; thresher sharks really do hunt with their tails. PMID:23874415

  7. Water-escape velocities in jumping blacktip sharks.

    PubMed

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M

    2005-09-22

    This paper describes the first determination of water-escape velocities in free-ranging sharks. Two approximations are used to estimate the final swimming speed at the moment of penetrating the water surface. Blacktip sharks were videotaped from below the surface and parameters were estimated by analysing the sequences frame by frame. Water-escape velocities averaged 6.3 ms(-1). These velocities for blacktip sharks seem accurate and are similar to estimates obtained for other shark species of similar size. PMID:16849197

  8. Predominance of genetic monogamy by females in a hammerhead shark, Sphyrna tiburo: implications for shark conservation.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Demian D; Prodöhl, Paulo A; Gelsleichter, James; Manire, Charles A; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2004-07-01

    There is growing interest in the mating systems of sharks and their relatives (Class Chondrichthyes) because these ancient fishes occupy a key position in vertebrate phylogeny and are increasingly in need of conservation due to widespread overexploitation. Based on precious few genetic and field observational studies, current speculation is that polyandrous mating strategies and multiple paternity may be common in sharks as they are in most other vertebrates. Here, we test this hypothesis by examining the genetic mating system of the bonnethead shark, Sphyrna tiburo, using microsatellite DNA profiling of 22 litters (22 mothers, 188 embryos genotyped at four polymorphic loci) obtained from multiple locations along the west coast of Florida. Contrary to expectations based on the ability of female S. tiburo to store sperm, the social nature of this species and the 100% multiple paternity observed in two other coastal shark species, over 81% of sampled bonnethead females produced litters sired by a single male (i.e. genetic monogamy). When multiple paternity occurred in S. tiburo, there was an indication of increased incidence in larger mothers with bigger litters. Our data suggest that sharks may exhibit complex genetic mating systems with a high degree of interspecific variability, and as a result some species may be more susceptible to loss of genetic variation in the face of escalating fishing pressure. Based on these findings, we suggest that knowledge of elasmobranch mating systems should be an important component of conservation and management programmes for these heavily exploited species. PMID:15189217

  9. Vertebrate paleontological exploration of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Dakhla and Kharga Oases, Western Desert, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sallam, Hesham M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Kora, Mahmoud; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Faris, Mahmoud; Ouda, Khaled; El-Dawoudi, Iman; Saber, Sara; El-Sayed, Sanaa

    2016-05-01

    The Campanian and Maastrichtian stages are very poorly documented time intervals in Africa's record of terrestrial vertebrate evolution. Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed in southern Egypt, near the Dakhla and Kharga Oases in the Western Desert, preserve abundant vertebrate fossils in nearshore marine environments, but have not yet been the focus of intensive collection and description. Our recent paleontological work in these areas has resulted in the discovery of numerous new vertebrate fossil-bearing localities within the middle Campanian Qusier Formation and the upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation. Fossil remains recovered from the Campanian-aged Quseir Formation include sharks, rays, actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes, turtles, and rare terrestrial archosaurians, including some of the only dinosaurs known from this interval on continental Africa. The upper Campanian/lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation preserves sharks, sawfish, actinopterygians, and marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs). Notably absent from these collections are representatives of Mammalia and Avialae, both of which remain effectively undocumented in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Africa and Arabia. New age constraints on the examined rock units is provided by 23 nannofossil taxa, some of which are reported from the Duwi Formation for the first time. Fossil discoveries from rock units of this age are essential for characterizing the degree of endemism that may have developed as the continent became increasingly tectonically isolated from the rest of Gondwana, not to mention for fully evaluating origin and diversification hypotheses of major modern groups of vertebrates (e.g., crown birds, placental mammals).

  10. Unprovoked fatal shark attack in Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, South Pacific) by a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.

    PubMed

    Clua, Eric; Séret, Bernard

    2010-09-01

    The case of a fatal, unprovoked shark attack is reported and analyzed. The incident took place on the 30th of September 2007, in the lagoon of Luengoni Bay, Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia). A young French woman who was snorkeling was severely bitten on the right thigh and died of hemorrhage. An analysis based in particular on the size and color of the shark, the characteristics of the wounds, and the behavior of the shark before and after the bite suggests that the aggressor was a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. PMID:20606572

  11. Maneuvering in juvenile carcharhinid and sphyrnid sharks: the role of the hammerhead shark cephalofoil.

    PubMed

    Kajiura, Stephen M; Forni, Jesica B; Summers, Adam P

    2003-01-01

    The peculiar head morphology of hammerhead sharks has spawned a variety of untested functional hypotheses. One of the most intuitively appealing ideas is that the anterior foil acts, as in canard-winged aircraft, to increase maneuverability. We tested this hypothesis by determining whether juveniles of two hammerhead species (Sphyrna tiburo and S. lewini) turn more sharply, more often, and with greater velocity than a juvenile carcharhinid shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus). Although the hammerheads were more maneuverable, further investigation revealed that they do not roll their body during turns, suggesting that the cephalofoil does not act as a steering wing. We also show that hammerhead sharks demonstrate greater lateral flexure in a turn than carcharhinids, and that this flexibility may be due to cross sectional shape rather than number of vertebrae. PMID:16351888

  12. Re-creating missing population baselines for Pacific reef sharks.

    PubMed

    Nadon, Marc O; Baum, Julia K; Williams, Ivor D; McPherson, Jana M; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Richards, Benjamin L; Schroeder, Robert E; Brainard, Russell E

    2012-06-01

    Sharks and other large predators are scarce on most coral reefs, but studies of their historical ecology provide qualitative evidence that predators were once numerous in these ecosystems. Quantifying density of sharks in the absence of humans (baseline) is, however, hindered by a paucity of pertinent time-series data. Recently researchers have used underwater visual surveys, primarily of limited spatial extent or nonstandard design, to infer negative associations between reef shark abundance and human populations. We analyzed data from 1607 towed-diver surveys (>1 ha transects surveyed by observers towed behind a boat) conducted at 46 reefs in the central-western Pacific Ocean, reefs that included some of the world's most pristine coral reefs. Estimates of shark density from towed-diver surveys were substantially lower (<10%) than published estimates from surveys along small transects (<0.02 ha), which is not consistent with inverted biomass pyramids (predator biomass greater than prey biomass) reported by other researchers for pristine reefs. We examined the relation between the density of reef sharks observed in towed-diver surveys and human population in models that accounted for the influence of oceanic primary productivity, sea surface temperature, reef area, and reef physical complexity. We used these models to estimate the density of sharks in the absence of humans. Densities of gray reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos), whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus), and the group "all reef sharks" increased substantially as human population decreased and as primary productivity and minimum sea surface temperature (or reef area, which was highly correlated with temperature) increased. Simulated baseline densities of reef sharks under the absence of humans were 1.1-2.4/ha for the main Hawaiian Islands, 1.2-2.4/ha for inhabited islands of American Samoa, and 0.9-2.1/ha for inhabited islands in the Mariana Archipelago, which suggests that density of reef sharks

  13. Shark skin: a function in feeding.

    PubMed Central

    Southall, E J; Sims, D W

    2003-01-01

    Dermal denticles are unique tooth-like structures embedded in the skin of sharks and rays that protect them from predators and ectoparasites, reduce mechanical abrasion and possibly minimize swimming-induced drag. Here, we show that juvenile lesser spotted dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula) also use this body armour to anchor food items near their tail so that bite-sized pieces can be torn away by rapid jaw and head movements. This scale-rasp behaviour is novel among fishes and suggests a new role for skin in the feeding ecology of sharks. Scale rasping may be important ecologically because it could function to increase the dietary breadth and growth potential of juveniles. PMID:12952633

  14. An investigation into ciguatoxin bioaccumulation in sharks.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Lauren; Capper, Angela; Carter, Steve; Simpfendorfer, Colin

    2016-09-01

    Ciguatoxins (CTXs) produced by benthic Gambierdiscus dinoflagellates, readily biotransform and bioaccumulate in food chains ultimately bioconcentrating in high-order, carnivorous marine species. Certain shark species, often feeding at, or near the top of the food-chain have the ability to bioaccumulate a suite of toxins, from both anthropogenic and algal sources. As such, these apex predators are likely sinks for CTXs. This assumption, in conjunction with anecdotal knowledge of poisoning incidents, several non-specific feeding trials whereby various terrestrial animals were fed suspect fish flesh, and a single incident in Madagascar in 1994, have resulted in the widespread acceptance that sharks may accumulate CTXs. This prompted a study to investigate original claims within the literature, as well as investigate CTX bioaccumulation in the muscle and liver of 22 individual sharks from nine species, across four locations along the east coast of Australia. Utilizing an updated ciguatoxin extraction method with HPLC-MS/MS, we were unable to detect P-CTX-1, P-CTX-2 or P-CTX-3, the three primary CTX congeners, in muscle or liver samples. We propose four theories to address this finding: (1) to date, methods have been optimized for teleost species and may not be appropriate for elasmobranchs, or the CTXs may be below the limit of detection; (2) CTX may be biotransformed into elasmobranch-specific congeners as a result of unique metabolic properties; (3) 22 individuals may be an inadequate sample size given the rare occurrence of high-order ciguatoxic organisms and potential for CTX depuration; and (4) the ephemeral nature and inconsistent toxin profiles of Gambierdiscus blooms may have undermined our classifications of certain areas as CTX hotspots. These results, in combination with the lack of clarity within the literature, suggest that ciguatoxin bioaccumulation in sharks remains elusive, and warrants further investigation to determine the dynamics of toxin production

  15. 75 FR 67251 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Inseason Action To Close the Commercial Blacknose Shark and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-02

    ... June 1, 2010 (75 FR 30484), NMFS announced the final rule for Amendment 3 to the Consolidated Atlantic... Species; Inseason Action To Close the Commercial Blacknose Shark and Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Shark... blacknose shark and non- blacknose small coastal shark (SCS) fisheries. This action is necessary...

  16. 76 FR 64074 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-17

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA670 Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification... Shark Identification workshop scheduled for November 17, 2011, in Charleston, SC, has been changed. This.... Atlantic Shark Identification workshops are mandatory for Atlantic Shark Dealer permit holders or...

  17. 76 FR 62331 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-07

    ...Based on the 2010/2011 Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) assessments for sandbar, dusky, and blacknose sharks, NMFS is declaring the following stock status determinations. Sandbar sharks are still overfished, but no longer experiencing overfishing. Dusky sharks are still overfished and still experiencing overfishing (i.e., their stock status has not changed). Blacknose sharks were......

  18. Characterization of the Shark Myelin Po Protein

    PubMed Central

    Rotenstein, L.; Herath, K.; Gould, R.M.; de Bellard, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    Myelin, the insulating sheath made by extensive plasma membrane wrappings is dependent on the presence of highly adhesive molecules that keep the two sides of the membrane in tight contact. The Po glycoprotein (Po) is the major component of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) myelin of mammals. The exact role that Po protein has played in the evolution of myelin is still unclear, but several phylogenetic observations point to it as a crucial component in the development of myelin as a multi-lamellar membrane structure. Sharks, which appeared in evolution about 400 million years ago, are the first fully myelinated organisms. In this study we set out to investigate the expression pattern of shark myelin Po as a way of understanding how it might have played a role in the evolution of myelin in the central nervous system. We found that shark have more than two isoforms (32, 28 and 25kD), and that some of these might not be fully functional because they lack the domains known for Po homophilic adhesion. PMID:18635929

  19. Nonmarine upper cretaceous rocks, Cook Inlet, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Magoon, L.B.; Griesbach, F.B.; Egbert, R.M.

    1980-08-01

    A section of Upper Cretaceous (Maestrichtian) nonmarine sandstone, conglomerate, and siltstone with associated coal is exposed near Saddle mountain on the northwest flank of Cook Inlet basin, the only known surface exposure of nonmarine Upper Cretaceous rocks in the Cook Inlet area. The section, at least 83.3 m thick, unconformably overlies the Upper Jurassic Naknek Formation and is unconformably overlain by the lower Tertiary West Foreland Formation. These upper Cretaceous rocks correlate lithologically with the second or deeper interval of nonmarine Upper Cretaceous rocks penetrated in the lower Cook Inlet COST 1 well.

  20. Conservation biology: strict marine protected areas prevent reef shark declines.

    PubMed

    Dulvy, Nicholas K

    2006-12-01

    Populations of two coral reef shark species are declining rapidly: the pattern of decline highlights both the substantial impact of poaching on closed areas and the success of strict no-entry marine protected areas in maintaining healthy shark populations. PMID:17141604

  1. 33 CFR 117.751 - Shark River (South Channel).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Shark River (South Channel). 117.751 Section 117.751 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements New Jersey § 117.751 Shark River...

  2. 33 CFR 117.751 - Shark River (South Channel).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Shark River (South Channel). 117.751 Section 117.751 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements New Jersey § 117.751 Shark River...

  3. 33 CFR 117.751 - Shark River (South Channel).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Shark River (South Channel). 117.751 Section 117.751 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements New Jersey § 117.751 Shark River...

  4. 33 CFR 117.751 - Shark River (South Channel).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Shark River (South Channel). 117.751 Section 117.751 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements New Jersey § 117.751 Shark River...

  5. 33 CFR 117.751 - Shark River (South Channel).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Shark River (South Channel). 117.751 Section 117.751 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements New Jersey § 117.751 Shark River...

  6. 78 FR 3836 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River, Avon, NJ

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-17

    ... facilitate machinery replacement on the Shark River railroad bridge. This temporary deviation will allow the... operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.751, to accommodate machinery replacement for the Shark River..., mile 0.9, both at Avon, operate as one unit. To facilitate machinery replacement, the above...

  7. Response of juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks to electric stimuli.

    PubMed

    Kajiura, Stephen M; Fitzgerald, Timothy P

    2009-01-01

    Sharks can use their electrosensory system to detect electric fields in their environment. Measurements of their electrosensitivity are often derived by calculating the voltage gradient from a model of the charge distribution for an ideal dipole. This study measures the charge distribution around a dipole in seawater and confirms the close correspondence with the model. From this, it is possible to predict how the sharks will respond to dipolar electric fields comprised of differing parameters. We tested these predictions by exposing sharks to different sized dipoles and levels of applied current that simulated the bioelectric fields of their natural prey items. The sharks initiated responses from a significantly greater distance with larger dipole sizes and also from a significantly greater distance with increasing levels of electric current. This study is the first to provide empirical evidence supporting a popular theoretical model and test predictions about how sharks will respond to a variety of different electric stimuli. PMID:19097876

  8. "Sharks in Your Hands"--A Case Study on Effects of Teaching Strategies to Change Knowledge and Attitudes towards Sharks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hung-Shan; Liu, Shiang-Yao; Yeh, Ting-Kuang

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to exemplify how hands-on based teaching strategies enhanced students' knowledge and positive attitudes towards sharks. Hands-on activities for sharks' biological and morphological features were carried out. Eleven elementary school students from a remote area in Taiwan were recruited and assigned to the hands-on condition.…

  9. Biomimetic shark skin: design, fabrication and hydrodynamic function.

    PubMed

    Wen, Li; Weaver, James C; Lauder, George V

    2014-05-15

    Although the functional properties of shark skin have been of considerable interest to both biologists and engineers because of the complex hydrodynamic effects of surface roughness, no study to date has successfully fabricated a flexible biomimetic shark skin that allows detailed study of hydrodynamic function. We present the first study of the design, fabrication and hydrodynamic testing of a synthetic, flexible, shark skin membrane. A three-dimensional (3D) model of shark skin denticles was constructed using micro-CT imaging of the skin of the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus). Using 3D printing, thousands of rigid synthetic shark denticles were placed on flexible membranes in a controlled, linear-arrayed pattern. This flexible 3D printed shark skin model was then tested in water using a robotic flapping device that allowed us to either hold the models in a stationary position or move them dynamically at their self-propelled swimming speed. Compared with a smooth control model without denticles, the 3D printed shark skin showed increased swimming speed with reduced energy consumption under certain motion programs. For example, at a heave frequency of 1.5 Hz and an amplitude of ± 1 cm, swimming speed increased by 6.6% and the energy cost-of-transport was reduced by 5.9%. In addition, a leading-edge vortex with greater vorticity than the smooth control was generated by the 3D printed shark skin, which may explain the increased swimming speeds. The ability to fabricate synthetic biomimetic shark skin opens up a wide array of possible manipulations of surface roughness parameters, and the ability to examine the hydrodynamic consequences of diverse skin denticle shapes present in different shark species. PMID:24829323

  10. How Close is too Close? The Effect of a Non-Lethal Electric Shark Deterrent on White Shark Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Nathan S.; Ryan, Laura; Chapuis, Lucille; Kerr, Caroline C.; Schmidt, Carl; Huveneers, Charlie; Gennari, Enrico; Yopak, Kara E.; Meeuwig, Jessica J.; Collin, Shaun P.

    2016-01-01

    Sharks play a vital role in the health of marine ecosystems, but the potential threat that sharks pose to humans is a reminder of our vulnerability when entering the ocean. Personal shark deterrents are being marketed as the solution to mitigate the threat that sharks pose. However, the effectiveness claims of many personal deterrents are based on our knowledge of shark sensory biology rather than robust testing of the devices themselves, as most have not been subjected to independent scientific studies. Therefore, there is a clear need for thorough testing of commercially available shark deterrents to provide the public with recommendations of their effectiveness. Using a modified stereo-camera system, we quantified behavioural interactions between white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and a baited target in the presence of a commercially available, personal electric shark deterrent (Shark Shield Freedom7™). The stereo-camera system enabled an accurate assessment of the behavioural responses of C. carcharias when encountering a non-lethal electric field many times stronger than what they would naturally experience. Upon their first observed encounter, all C. carcharias were repelled at a mean (± std. error) proximity of 131 (± 10.3) cm, which corresponded to a mean voltage gradient of 9.7 (± 0.9) V/m. With each subsequent encounter, their proximity decreased by an average of 11.6 cm, which corresponded to an increase in tolerance to the electric field by an average of 2.6 (± 0.5) V/m per encounter. Despite the increase in tolerance, sharks continued to be deterred from interacting for the duration of each trial when in the presence of an active Shark Shield™. Furthermore, the findings provide no support to the theory that electric deterrents attract sharks. The results of this study provide quantitative evidence of the effectiveness of a non-lethal electric shark deterrent, its influence on the behaviour of C. carcharias, and an accurate method for testing

  11. Trophic ecology of sharks in the mid-east pacific ocean inferred from stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yunkai; Gong, Yi; Chen, Xinjun; Dai, Xiaojie; Zhu, Jiangfeng

    2013-11-01

    As apex predators, sharks are of ecological and conservation importance in marine ecosystems. In this study, trophic positions of sharks were estimated using stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen for five representative species caught by the Chinese longline fleet in the mid-east Pacific, i.e., the blue shark (Prionace glauca), the bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus), the silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), the scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), and the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus). Of these species, oceanic whitetip shark has the lowest trophic level and mean δ15N value (3.9 and 14.93‰ ± 0.84‰), whereas bigeye thresher shark has the highest level/values (4.5 and 17.02‰ ± 1.21‰, respectively). The bigeye thresher shark has significantly higher δ15N value than other shark species, indicating its higher trophic position. The blue shark and oceanic whitetip shark has significantly higher δ13C values than bigeye thresher shark, silky shark and scalloped hammerhead, possibly due to different diets and/or living habitats. The stable isotope data and stomach content data are highly consistent, suggesting that stable isotope analysis supplements traditional feeding ecology study of sharks, and thus contributes to understanding their trophic linkage.

  12. Long-term changes in species composition and relative abundances of sharks at a provisioning site.

    PubMed

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M; Abrantes, Kátya G; Barnett, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Diving with sharks, often in combination with food baiting/provisioning, has become an important product of today's recreational dive industry. Whereas the effects baiting/provisioning has on the behaviour and abundance of individual shark species are starting to become known, there is an almost complete lack of equivalent data from multi-species shark diving sites. In this study, changes in species composition and relative abundances were determined at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a multi-species shark feeding site in Fiji. Using direct observation sampling methods, eight species of sharks (bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus, tawny nurse shark Nebrius ferrugineus, silvertip shark Carcharhinus albimarginatus, sicklefin lemon shark Negaprion acutidens, and tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier) displayed inter-annual site fidelity between 2003 and 2012. Encounter rates and/or relative abundances of some species changed over time, overall resulting in more individuals (mostly C. leucas) of fewer species being encountered on average on shark feeding dives at the end of the study period. Differences in shark community composition between the years 2004-2006 and 2007-2012 were evident, mostly because N. ferrugineus, C. albimarginatus and N. acutidens were much more abundant in 2004-2006 and very rare in the period of 2007-2012. Two explanations are offered for the observed changes in relative abundances over time, namely inter-specific interactions and operator-specific feeding protocols. Both, possibly in combination, are suggested to be important determinants of species composition and encounter rates, and relative abundances at this shark provisioning site in Fiji. This study, which includes the most species from a spatially confined shark provisioning site to date, suggests that long-term provisioning may result in competitive exclusion among shark

  13. Long-Term Changes in Species Composition and Relative Abundances of Sharks at a Provisioning Site

    PubMed Central

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M.; Abrantes, Kátya G.; Barnett, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Diving with sharks, often in combination with food baiting/provisioning, has become an important product of today’s recreational dive industry. Whereas the effects baiting/provisioning has on the behaviour and abundance of individual shark species are starting to become known, there is an almost complete lack of equivalent data from multi-species shark diving sites. In this study, changes in species composition and relative abundances were determined at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a multi-species shark feeding site in Fiji. Using direct observation sampling methods, eight species of sharks (bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus, tawny nurse shark Nebrius ferrugineus, silvertip shark Carcharhinus albimarginatus, sicklefin lemon shark Negaprion acutidens, and tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier) displayed inter-annual site fidelity between 2003 and 2012. Encounter rates and/or relative abundances of some species changed over time, overall resulting in more individuals (mostly C. leucas) of fewer species being encountered on average on shark feeding dives at the end of the study period. Differences in shark community composition between the years 2004–2006 and 2007–2012 were evident, mostly because N. ferrugineus, C. albimarginatus and N. acutidens were much more abundant in 2004–2006 and very rare in the period of 2007–2012. Two explanations are offered for the observed changes in relative abundances over time, namely inter-specific interactions and operator-specific feeding protocols. Both, possibly in combination, are suggested to be important determinants of species composition and encounter rates, and relative abundances at this shark provisioning site in Fiji. This study, which includes the most species from a spatially confined shark provisioning site to date, suggests that long-term provisioning may result in competitive exclusion

  14. Shark as viewed by Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This close-up image of Shark, in the Bookshelf at the back of the Rock Garden, was taken by Sojourner Rover on Sol 75. Also in the image are Half Dome (right) and Desert Princess (lower right). At the bottom left, a thin 'crusty' soil layer has been disturbed by the rover wheels.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  15. Movement patterns of silvertip sharks ( Carcharhinus albimarginatus) on coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinoza, Mario; Heupel, Michelle. R.; Tobin, Andrew J.; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.

    2015-09-01

    Understanding how sharks use coral reefs is essential for assessing risk of exposure to fisheries, habitat loss, and climate change. Despite a wide Indo-Pacific distribution, little is known about the spatial ecology of silvertip sharks ( Carcharhinus albimarginatus), compromising the ability to effectively manage their populations. We examined the residency and movements of silvertip sharks in the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). An array of 56 VR2W acoustic receivers was used to monitor shark movements on 17 semi-isolated reefs. Twenty-seven individuals tagged with acoustic transmitters were monitored from 70 to 731 d. Residency index to the study site ranged from 0.05 to 0.97, with a mean residency (±SD) of 0.57 ± 0.26, but most individuals were detected at or near their tagging reef. Clear seasonal patterns were apparent, with fewer individuals detected between September and February. A large proportion of the tagged population (>71 %) moved regularly between reefs. Silvertip sharks were detected less during daytime and exhibited a strong diel pattern in depth use, which may be a strategy for optimizing energetic budgets and foraging opportunities. This study provides the first detailed examination of the spatial ecology and behavior of silvertip sharks on coral reefs. Silvertip sharks remained resident at coral reef habitats over long periods, but our results also suggest this species may have more complex movement patterns and use larger areas of the GBR than common reef shark species. Our findings highlight the need to further understand the movement ecology of silvertip sharks at different spatial and temporal scales, which is critical for developing effective management approaches.

  16. Shark predation on cephalopods in the Mexican and Ecuadorian Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galván-Magaña, Felipe; Polo-Silva, Carlos; Berenice Hernández-Aguilar, Sandra; Sandoval-Londoño, Alejandro; Ruth Ochoa-Díaz, Maria; Aguilar-Castro, Nallely; Castañeda-Suárez, David; Cabrera Chavez-Costa, Alejandra; Baigorrí-Santacruz, Álvaro; Eden Torres-Rojas, Yassir; Andrés Abitia-Cárdenas, Leonardo

    2013-10-01

    Pelagic predators such as sharks have been shown to be effective cephalopod samplers, because they have high consumption rates and swimming speeds. The stomach contents of these predators allow us to determine the distribution and abundance of cephalopods, considering the scarcity of biological information and the difficulty of catching squids and octopi using traditional methods. The silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), blue shark (Prionace glauca), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena), pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus), and bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus) were caught off both coasts of Baja California Sur, Mexico, and in the Ecuadorian Pacific Ocean. Cephalopod sizes (mantle lengths, ML) were calculated based on the beak measurements to determine the size of cephalopods consumed by the sharks. We identified 21 cephalopod species based on beak items found in the shark stomachs. The most abundant cephalopods consumed by sharks in both areas were Dosidicus gigas, Ancistrocheirus lesueurii, Onychoteuthis banksii, Sthenoteuthis ovalaniensis, Argonauta spp., Abraliopsis affinis, and Mastigoteuthis dentata. The cephalopod's habitat provides information about the depth at which these sharks capture their prey. The blue shark feeds on cephalopods in epipelagic, mesopelagic, and bathypelagic waters; the silky shark feeds on cephalopods in epipelagic waters; and the scalloped hammerhead shark preys on cephalopods in neritic (bottom) and oceanic waters (epipelagic and mesopelagic). The pelagic thresher shark consumed epipelagic and neritic species; whereas the bigeye thresher shark feeds mainly on epipelagic and mesopelagic squids in Ecuadorian waters. The smooth hammerhead preys on epipelagic and mesopelagic squids off Mexico and Ecuador.

  17. Dramatic increase in sea otter mortality from white sharks in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tinker, M. Tim; Hatfield, Brian B.; Harris, Michael D.; Ames, Jack A.

    2016-01-01

    Although southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) are not considered prey for white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), sharks do nonetheless bite sea otters. We analyzed spatial and temporal trends in shark bites on sea otters in California, assessing the frequency of shark bite wounds in 1,870 carcasses collected since 1985. The proportion of stranded sea otters having shark bites has increased sharply since 2003, and white shark bites now account for >50% of recovered carcasses. The trend was most pronounced in the southern part of the range, from Estero Bay to Point Conception, where shark bite frequency has increased eightfold. Seasonal trends were also evident: most shark-bitten carcasses are recovered in late summer and fall; however, the period of elevated shark bite frequency has lengthened. The causes of these trends are unclear, but possible contributing factors include increased white shark abundance and/or changes in white shark behavior and distribution. In particular, the spatiotemporal patterns of shark-bitten sea otters match increases in pinniped populations, and the increased availability of marine mammal prey for white sharks may have led to more sharks spending more time in nearshore waters utilized by both sea otters and pinnipeds.

  18. Cyanobacteria/Foraminifera Association from Anoxic/Dysoxic Beds of the Agua Nueva Formation (Upper Cretaceous - Cenomanian/Turonian) at Xilitla, San Luis Potosi, Central Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco-Piñón, A.; Maurrasse, F. J.; Rojas-León, A.; Duque-Botero, F.

    2008-05-01

    The Agua Nueva Formation in the vicinity of Xilitla, State of San Luis Potosí, Central Mexico, consists of interbedded brown shale (Grayish orange 10YR 7/4 to Moderate yellowish brown 10YR 5/4) and dark-gray fossiliferous limestone (Bluish gray 5B 6/1 to Dark bluish gray 5B 4/1), varying between 10 and 20 cm in thickness. The sequence also includes 2 to 4 cm- thick intermittent bentonite layers (Moderate greenish yellow 10Y 7/4, to dark greenish yellow 10Y 6/6 and Light olive 10Y 5/4). At the field scale, shaly intervals show no apparent internal structures, whereas most limestone beds show primary lamination at the millimeter scale (1-2 mm), and intermittent layers of black chert of about 5 cm thick. Pyrite is present as disseminated crystals and as 2 cm-thick layers. Bioturbation or macrobenthic organisms other than inoceramids do not occur in the Agua Nueva Formation at Xilitla. Unusual macrofossils are present only in limestone strata, and consist of well- preserved diverse genera of fishes such as sharks, Ptychodus sp. and teleosteans, Rhynchodercetis sp., Tselfatia sp., Goulmimichthys sp., and scales of Ichtyodectiformes, as well as ammonites and inoceramids (Blanco et al., 2006). The presence of Inoceramus (Mytyloides) labiatus (Maldonado-Koederll, 1956) indicates an Early Turonian age for the sequence. Total carbonate content (CaCO3 = TIC) varies between 62 and 94% in the Limestone beds, which yield Total Organic Carbon (TOC) from 0.4% to 2.5%; the shale intervals contain TIC values consistently lower than 33% and TOC lower than 0.8% Microscopically the limestone beds vary from mudstone to packstone composed essentially of coccoid cyanobacteria similar to coeval deposits in northeastern Mexico, Coahuila State, at Parras de La Fuente (Duque- Botero 2006). Similarly, the microspheroids are spherical to sub-spherical, and occur as isolated elements or aggregates forming series of chains of parallel-packed light lamina 1-2 mm thick. Filamentous cyanobacteria

  19. Squalamine: an aminosterol antibiotic from the shark.

    PubMed

    Moore, K S; Wehrli, S; Roder, H; Rogers, M; Forrest, J N; McCrimmon, D; Zasloff, M

    1993-02-15

    In recent years, a variety of low molecular weight antibiotics have been isolated from diverse animal species. These agents, which include peptides, lipids, and alkaloids, exhibit antibiotic activity against environmental microbes and are thought to play a role in innate immunity. We report here the discovery of a broad-spectrum steroidal antibiotic isolated from tissues of the dogfish shark Squalus acanthias. This water-soluble antibiotic, which we have named squalamine, exhibits potent bactericidal activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, squalamine is fungicidal and induces osmotic lysis of protozoa. The chemical structure of the antibiotic 3 beta-N-1-(N-[3-(4-aminobutyl)]- 1,3-diaminopropane)-7 alpha,24 zeta-dihydroxy-5 alpha-cholestane 24-sulfate has been determined by fast atom bombardment mass spectroscopy and NMR. Squalamine is a cationic steroid characterized by a condensation of an anionic bile salt intermediate with spermidine. The discovery of squalamine in the shark implicates a steroid as a potential host-defense agent in vertebrates and provides insights into the chemical design of a family of broad-spectrum antibiotics. PMID:8433993

  20. A new genus of fossil Mymaridae (Hymenoptera) from Cretaceous amber and key to Cretaceous mymarid genera.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George; Huber, John T

    2011-01-01

    Myanmymar aresconoidesgen n., sp. n. is described from one female in Burmese amber, dated as about 100 my. It is similar to Arescon on wing features but is unique among Mymaridae in having distinctly segmented palpi. It is the fifth mymarid genus definitely referable to the Cretaceous period. A key to Cretaceous mymarid genera is presented and the features of Myanmymar are compared with the other Cretaceous and extant mymarid genera. PMID:22259293

  1. A new genus of fossil Mymaridae (Hymenoptera) from Cretaceous amber and key to Cretaceous mymarid genera

    PubMed Central

    Poinar Jr., George; Huber, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Myanmymar aresconoides gen n., sp. n. is described from one female in Burmese amber, dated as about 100 my. It is similar to Arescon on wing features but is unique among Mymaridae in having distinctly segmented palpi. It is the fifth mymarid genus definitely referable to the Cretaceous period. A key to Cretaceous mymarid genera is presented and the features of Myanmymar are compared with the other Cretaceous and extant mymarid genera. PMID:22259293

  2. An Analytical Approach for Estimating Fossil Record and Diversification Events in Sharks, Skates and Rays

    PubMed Central

    Guinot, Guillaume; Adnet, Sylvain; Cappetta, Henri

    2012-01-01

    Background Modern selachians and their supposed sister group (hybodont sharks) have a long and successful evolutionary history. Yet, although selachian remains are considered relatively common in the fossil record in comparison with other marine vertebrates, little is known about the quality of their fossil record. Similarly, only a few works based on specific time intervals have attempted to identify major events that marked the evolutionary history of this group. Methodology/Principal Findings Phylogenetic hypotheses concerning modern selachians’ interrelationships are numerous but differ significantly and no consensus has been found. The aim of the present study is to take advantage of the range of recent phylogenetic hypotheses in order to assess the fit of the selachian fossil record to phylogenies, according to two different branching methods. Compilation of these data allowed the inference of an estimated range of diversity through time and evolutionary events that marked this group over the past 300 Ma are identified. Results indicate that with the exception of high taxonomic ranks (orders), the selachian fossil record is by far imperfect, particularly for generic and post-Triassic data. Timing and amplitude of the various identified events that marked the selachian evolutionary history are discussed. Conclusion/Significance Some identified diversity events were mentioned in previous works using alternative methods (Early Jurassic, mid-Cretaceous, K/T boundary and late Paleogene diversity drops), thus reinforcing the efficiency of the methodology presented here in inferring evolutionary events. Other events (Permian/Triassic, Early and Late Cretaceous diversifications; Triassic/Jurassic extinction) are newly identified. Relationships between these events and paleoenvironmental characteristics and other groups’ evolutionary history are proposed. PMID:22957091

  3. Cartilage (Bovine and Shark) (PDQ®)—Patient Version

    Cancer.gov

    Expert-reviewed information summary about the use of bovine and shark cartilage as a treatment for people with cancer. Note: The information in this summary is no longer being updated and is provided for reference purposes only.

  4. Morphology and evolution of the jaw suspension in lamniform sharks.

    PubMed

    Wilga, C D

    2005-07-01

    The morphology of the jaw suspension and jaw protrusion mechanism in lamniform sharks is described and mapped onto a cladogram to investigate how changes in jaw suspension and protrusion have evolved. This has revealed that several evolutionary modifications in the musculoskeletal apparatus of the jaws have taken place among lamniform sharks. Galeomorph sharks (Carcharhiniformes, Lamniformes, Orectolobiformes, and Heterodontiformes) have paired ethmopalatine ligaments connecting the ethmoid process of the upper jaw to the ethmoid region of the cranium. Basal lamniform sharks also acquired a novel single palatonasal ligament connecting the symphysis of the upper jaw to the cranium mid-ventral to the nasal capsule. Sharks in the family Lamnidae subsequently lost the original paired ethmopalatine ligament while retaining the novel palatonasal ligament. Thus, basal lamniform taxa (Mitsukurina owstoni, Carcharius taurus, Alopias vulpinnis) have increased ligamentous support of the lateral region of the upper jaw while derived species (Lamnidae) have lost this lateral support but gained anterior support. In previous studies the morphology of the jaw suspension has been shown to play a major role in the mechanism of upper jaw protrusion in elasmobranchs. The preorbitalis is the primary muscle effecting upper jaw protrusion in squalean (sister group to galeomorphs) and carcharhiniform (sister group to lamniforms) sharks. The preorbitalis originates from the quadratomandibularis muscle and inserts onto the nasal capsule in squalean and carcharhiniform sharks. Carcharhiniform sharks have evolved a subdivided preorbitalis muscle with the new division inserting near the ethmoid process of the palatoquadrate (upper jaw). Alopid sharks have also independently evolved a partially subdivided preorbitalis with the new division inserting at the base of the ethmoid process and surrounding connective tissue. Lamnid sharks have retained the two preorbitalis divisions but have modified

  5. Cartilage (Bovine and Shark) (PDQ®)—Health Professional Version

    Cancer.gov

    Expert-reviewed information summary about the use of bovine and shark cartilage as a treatment for people with cancer. Note: The information in this summary is no longer being updated and is provided for reference purposes only.

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome of the sandbar shark Carcharhinus plumbeus.

    PubMed

    Blower, Dean C; Ovenden, Jennifer R

    2016-01-01

    The sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, a major representative species in shark fisheries worldwide is now considered vulnerable to overfishing. A pool of 774,234 Roche 454 shotgun sequences from one individual were assembled into a 16,706 bp mitogenome with 33× average coverage depth. It comprised 13 protein coding genes, 22 transfer RNA's, 2 ribosomal genes and 2 non-coding regions, typical of a vertebrate mitogenome. As expected for sharks, an A-T nucleotide bias was evident. This adds to rapidly growing number of mitogenome assemblies for the economically important Carcharhinidae family. The C. plumbeus mitogenome will assist researchers, fisheries and conservation managers interested in shark molecular systematics, phylogeography, conservation genetics, population and stock structure. PMID:24938089

  7. Early Cretaceous angiosperms and beetle evolution

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bo; Zhang, Haichun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A.

    2013-01-01

    The Coleoptera (beetles) constitute almost one–fourth of all known life-forms on earth. They are also among the most important pollinators of flowering plants, especially basal angiosperms. Beetle fossils are abundant, almost spanning the entire Early Cretaceous, and thus provide important clues to explore the co-evolutionary processes between beetles and angiosperms. We review the fossil record of some Early Cretaceous polyphagan beetles including Tenebrionoidea, Scarabaeoidea, Curculionoidea, and Chrysomeloidea. Both the fossil record and molecular analyses reveal that these four groups had already diversified during or before the Early Cretaceous, clearly before the initial rise of angiosperms to widespread floristic dominance. These four beetle groups are important pollinators of basal angiosperms today, suggesting that their ecological association with angiosperms probably formed as early as in the Early Cretaceous. With the description of additional well-preserved fossils and improvements in phylogenetic analyses, our knowledge of Mesozoic beetle–angiosperm mutualisms will greatly increase during the near future. PMID:24062759

  8. Biostratigraphy of Echinoid spines, Cretaceous of Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Kirkland, P.L.

    1984-04-01

    Echinoid (sea urchin) spines from Cretaceous strata have widely varying morphology. They are common, and most are small enough to be recovered from well cuttings. Many forms have restricted ranges; consequently, echinoid spine have substantial biostratigraphic utility. There have been established 115 form taxa of echinoid spines and 14 form taxa of ophiuroid-asteroid spines for the Cretaceous of Texas. The specimens used for establishing the form taxa were processed from 533 outcrop samples (78 localities) from 30 Cretaceous formations, each with a well-defined age based on faunal zones of ammonites and Foraminifera. A dichotomous key in 9 parts and a catalog of scanning electron micrographs (87 plates) have been set up to assist identification of the form taxa. Range charts for the echinoid and ophiuroid-asteroid form taxa have utility through the Cretaceous of much of the Gulf Coastal area. The most precise zonation has been possible for the Albian.

  9. Assessment of hydro/oleophobicity for shark skin replica with riblets.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae Wan

    2014-10-01

    The shark skin has a unique skin structure which enables the shark to swim faster and more efficiently due to an intriguing three-dimensional rib pattern. Shark skin has also known as having functional performances such as self cleaning and anti-fouling as well as excellent drag reduction due to a hierarchical structure built up by micro grooves and nano-long chain mucus drag reduction interface around the shark body. In this study, the wetting properties for the biomimetic surfaces that replicate shark skin are assessed. First of all, the shark skin replicas are obtained using the micro molding technique directly from a shark skin template. The quantitative replication precision of the shark skin replicas is evaluated comparing with the geometry of shark skin template using 3D and 2D surface profiles are measured. Then contact angles in the conditions of solid-air-water, solid-air-oil and solid-water-oil interfaces are evaluated for shark skin replicas. The effect of Teflon coating on the wetting properties of shark skin replicas is also observed. The results show the shark skin replica by the micro molding technique gives better effect on the wetting performance, and the micro riblets on shark skin improve the wettability feature. PMID:25942826

  10. Trends in the exploitation of South Atlantic shark populations.

    PubMed

    Barreto, Rodrigo; Ferretti, Francesco; Flemming, Joanna M; Amorim, Alberto; Andrade, Humber; Worm, Boris; Lessa, Rosangela

    2016-08-01

    Approximately 25% of globally reported shark catches occur in Atlantic pelagic longline fisheries. Strong declines in shark populations have been detected in the North Atlantic, whereas in the South Atlantic the situation is less clear, although fishing effort has been increasing in this region since the late 1970s. We synthesized information on shark catch rates (based on 871,177 sharks caught on 86,492 longline sets) for the major species caught by multiple fleets in the South Atlantic between 1979 and 2011. We complied records from fishing logbooks of fishing companies, fishers, and onboard observers that were supplied to Brazilian institutions. By using exploratory data analysis and literature sources, we identified 3 phases of exploitation in these data (Supporting Information). From 1979 to 1997 (phase A), 5 fleets (40 vessels) fished mainly for tunas. From 1998 to 2008 (phase B), 20 fleets (100 vessels) fished for tunas, swordfishes, and sharks. From 2008 to 2011 (phase C), 3 fleets (30 vessels) fished for multiple species, but restrictive measures were implemented. We used generalized linear models to standardize catch rates and identify trends in each of these phases. Shark catch rates increased from 1979 to 1997, when fishing effort was low, decreased from 1998 to 2008, when fishing effort increased substantially, and remained stable or increased from 2008 to 2011, when fishing effort was again low. Our results indicate that most shark populations affected by longlines in the South Atlantic are currently depleted, but these populations may recover if fishing effort is reduced accordingly. In this context, it is problematic that comprehensive data collection, monitoring, and management of these fisheries ceased after 2012. Concurrently with the fact that Brazil is newly identified by FAO among the largest (and in fastest expansion) shark sub-products consumer market worldwide. PMID:26634410

  11. Movements of Blue Sharks (Prionace glauca) across Their Life History

    PubMed Central

    Vandeperre, Frederic; Aires-da-Silva, Alexandre; Fontes, Jorge; Santos, Marco; Serrão Santos, Ricardo; Afonso, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    Spatial structuring and segregation by sex and size is considered to be an intrinsic attribute of shark populations. These spatial patterns remain poorly understood, particularly for oceanic species such as blue shark (Prionace glauca), despite its importance for the management and conservation of this highly migratory species. This study presents the results of a long-term electronic tagging experiment to investigate the migratory patterns of blue shark, to elucidate how these patterns change across its life history and to assess the existence of a nursery area in the central North Atlantic. Blue sharks belonging to different life stages (n = 34) were tracked for periods up to 952 days during which they moved extensively (up to an estimated 28.139 km), occupying large parts of the oceanic basin. Notwithstanding a large individual variability, there were pronounced differences in movements and space use across the species' life history. The study provides strong evidence for the existence of a discrete central North Atlantic nursery, where juveniles can reside for up to at least 2 years. In contrast with previously described nurseries of coastal and semi-pelagic sharks, this oceanic nursery is comparatively vast and open suggesting that shelter from predators is not its main function. Subsequently, male and female blue sharks spatially segregate. Females engage in seasonal latitudinal migrations until approaching maturity, when they undergo an ontogenic habitat shift towards tropical latitudes. In contrast, juvenile males generally expanded their range southward and apparently displayed a higher degree of behavioural polymorphism. These results provide important insights into the spatial ecology of pelagic sharks, with implications for the sustainable management of this heavily exploited shark, especially in the central North Atlantic where the presence of a nursery and the seasonal overlap and alternation of different life stages coincides with a high fishing

  12. Movements of blue sharks (Prionace glauca) across their life history.

    PubMed

    Vandeperre, Frederic; Aires-da-Silva, Alexandre; Fontes, Jorge; Santos, Marco; Serrão Santos, Ricardo; Afonso, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    Spatial structuring and segregation by sex and size is considered to be an intrinsic attribute of shark populations. These spatial patterns remain poorly understood, particularly for oceanic species such as blue shark (Prionace glauca), despite its importance for the management and conservation of this highly migratory species. This study presents the results of a long-term electronic tagging experiment to investigate the migratory patterns of blue shark, to elucidate how these patterns change across its life history and to assess the existence of a nursery area in the central North Atlantic. Blue sharks belonging to different life stages (n = 34) were tracked for periods up to 952 days during which they moved extensively (up to an estimated 28.139 km), occupying large parts of the oceanic basin. Notwithstanding a large individual variability, there were pronounced differences in movements and space use across the species' life history. The study provides strong evidence for the existence of a discrete central North Atlantic nursery, where juveniles can reside for up to at least 2 years. In contrast with previously described nurseries of coastal and semi-pelagic sharks, this oceanic nursery is comparatively vast and open suggesting that shelter from predators is not its main function. Subsequently, male and female blue sharks spatially segregate. Females engage in seasonal latitudinal migrations until approaching maturity, when they undergo an ontogenic habitat shift towards tropical latitudes. In contrast, juvenile males generally expanded their range southward and apparently displayed a higher degree of behavioural polymorphism. These results provide important insights into the spatial ecology of pelagic sharks, with implications for the sustainable management of this heavily exploited shark, especially in the central North Atlantic where the presence of a nursery and the seasonal overlap and alternation of different life stages coincides with a high fishing

  13. Vertebral Bomb Radiocarbon Suggests Extreme Longevity in White Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Hamady, Li Ling; Natanson, Lisa J.; Skomal, Gregory B.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2014-01-01

    Conservation and management efforts for white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) remain hampered by a lack of basic demographic information including age and growth rates. Sharks are typically aged by counting growth bands sequentially deposited in their vertebrae, but the assumption of annual deposition of these band pairs requires testing. We compared radiocarbon (Δ14C) values in vertebrae from four female and four male white sharks from the northwestern Atlantic Ocean (NWA) with reference chronologies documenting the marine uptake of 14C produced by atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices to generate the first radiocarbon age estimates for adult white sharks. Age estimates were up to 40 years old for the largest female (fork length [FL]: 526 cm) and 73 years old for the largest male (FL: 493 cm). Our results dramatically extend the maximum age and longevity of white sharks compared to earlier studies, hint at possible sexual dimorphism in growth rates, and raise concerns that white shark populations are considerably more sensitive to human-induced mortality than previously thought. PMID:24416189

  14. Structure, composition, and mechanical properties of shark teeth.

    PubMed

    Enax, Joachim; Prymak, Oleg; Raabe, Dierk; Epple, Matthias

    2012-06-01

    The teeth of two different shark species (Isurus oxyrinchus and Galeocerdo cuvier) and a geological fluoroapatite single crystal were structurally and chemically characterized. In contrast to dentin, enameloid showed sharp diffraction peaks which indicated a high crystallinity of the enameloid. The lattice parameters of enameloid were close to those of the geological fluoroapatite single crystal. The inorganic part of shark teeth consisted of fluoroapatite with a fluoride content in the enameloid of 3.1 wt.%, i.e., close to the fluoride content of the geological fluoroapatite single crystal (3.64 wt.%). Scanning electron micrographs showed that the crystals in enameloid were highly ordered with a special topological orientation (perpendicular towards the outside surface and parallel towards the center). By thermogravimetry, water, organic matrix, and biomineral in dentin and enameloid of both shark species were determined. Dentin had a higher content of water, organic matrix, and carbonate than enameloid but contained less fluoride. Nanoindentation and Vicker's microhardness tests showed that the enameloid of the shark teeth was approximately six times harder than the dentin. The hardness of shark teeth and human teeth was comparable, both for dentin and enamel/enameloid. In contrast, the geological fluoroapatite single crystal was much harder than both kinds of teeth due to the absence of an organic matrix. In summary, the different biological functions of the shark teeth ("tearing" for Isurus and "cutting" for Galeocerdo) are controlled by the different geometry and not by the chemical or crystallographic composition. PMID:22503701

  15. Vertebral bomb radiocarbon suggests extreme longevity in white sharks.

    PubMed

    Hamady, Li Ling; Natanson, Lisa J; Skomal, Gregory B; Thorrold, Simon R

    2014-01-01

    Conservation and management efforts for white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) remain hampered by a lack of basic demographic information including age and growth rates. Sharks are typically aged by counting growth bands sequentially deposited in their vertebrae, but the assumption of annual deposition of these band pairs requires testing. We compared radiocarbon (Δ(14)C) values in vertebrae from four female and four male white sharks from the northwestern Atlantic Ocean (NWA) with reference chronologies documenting the marine uptake of (14)C produced by atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices to generate the first radiocarbon age estimates for adult white sharks. Age estimates were up to 40 years old for the largest female (fork length [FL]: 526 cm) and 73 years old for the largest male (FL: 493 cm). Our results dramatically extend the maximum age and longevity of white sharks compared to earlier studies, hint at possible sexual dimorphism in growth rates, and raise concerns that white shark populations are considerably more sensitive to human-induced mortality than previously thought. PMID:24416189

  16. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks

    PubMed Central

    Cagua, E. Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E. M.; Rohner, Christoph A.; Prebble, Clare E. M.; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H.; Pierce, Simon J.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long ‘off-seasons’ at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated year-round residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the off-season, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, year-round residency of unprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. PMID:25832816

  17. Olfaction Contributes to Pelagic Navigation in a Coastal Shark

    PubMed Central

    Nosal, Andrew P.; Chao, Yi; Farrara, John D.; Chai, Fei; Hastings, Philip A.

    2016-01-01

    How animals navigate the constantly moving and visually uniform pelagic realm, often along straight paths between distant sites, is an enduring mystery. The mechanisms enabling pelagic navigation in cartilaginous fishes are particularly understudied. We used shoreward navigation by leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) as a model system to test whether olfaction contributes to pelagic navigation. Leopard sharks were captured alongshore, transported 9 km offshore, released, and acoustically tracked for approximately 4 h each until the transmitter released. Eleven sharks were rendered anosmic (nares occluded with cotton wool soaked in petroleum jelly); fifteen were sham controls. Mean swimming depth was 28.7 m. On average, tracks of control sharks ended 62.6% closer to shore, following relatively straight paths that were significantly directed over spatial scales exceeding 1600 m. In contrast, tracks of anosmic sharks ended 37.2% closer to shore, following significantly more tortuous paths that approximated correlated random walks. These results held after swimming paths were adjusted for current drift. This is the first study to demonstrate experimentally that olfaction contributes to pelagic navigation in sharks, likely mediated by chemical gradients as has been hypothesized for birds. Given the similarities between the fluid three-dimensional chemical atmosphere and ocean, further research comparing swimming and flying animals may lead to a unifying paradigm explaining their extraordinary navigational abilities. PMID:26735492

  18. Olfaction Contributes to Pelagic Navigation in a Coastal Shark.

    PubMed

    Nosal, Andrew P; Chao, Yi; Farrara, John D; Chai, Fei; Hastings, Philip A

    2016-01-01

    How animals navigate the constantly moving and visually uniform pelagic realm, often along straight paths between distant sites, is an enduring mystery. The mechanisms enabling pelagic navigation in cartilaginous fishes are particularly understudied. We used shoreward navigation by leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) as a model system to test whether olfaction contributes to pelagic navigation. Leopard sharks were captured alongshore, transported 9 km offshore, released, and acoustically tracked for approximately 4 h each until the transmitter released. Eleven sharks were rendered anosmic (nares occluded with cotton wool soaked in petroleum jelly); fifteen were sham controls. Mean swimming depth was 28.7 m. On average, tracks of control sharks ended 62.6% closer to shore, following relatively straight paths that were significantly directed over spatial scales exceeding 1600 m. In contrast, tracks of anosmic sharks ended 37.2% closer to shore, following significantly more tortuous paths that approximated correlated random walks. These results held after swimming paths were adjusted for current drift. This is the first study to demonstrate experimentally that olfaction contributes to pelagic navigation in sharks, likely mediated by chemical gradients as has been hypothesized for birds. Given the similarities between the fluid three-dimensional chemical atmosphere and ocean, further research comparing swimming and flying animals may lead to a unifying paradigm explaining their extraordinary navigational abilities. PMID:26735492

  19. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks.

    PubMed

    Cagua, E Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E M; Rohner, Christoph A; Prebble, Clare E M; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L

    2015-04-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long 'off-seasons' at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated year-round residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the off-season, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, year-round residency of unprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. PMID:25832816

  20. Electroreception in juvenile scalloped hammerhead and sandbar sharks.

    PubMed

    Kajiura, Stephen M; Holland, Kim N

    2002-12-01

    The unique head morphology of sphyrnid sharks might have evolved to enhance electrosensory capabilities. The 'enhanced electroreception' hypothesis was tested by comparing the behavioral responses of similarly sized carcharhinid and sphyrnid sharks to prey-simulating electric stimuli. Juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks Sphyrna lewini and sandbar sharks Carcharhinus plumbeus oriented to dipole electric fields from the same maximum distance (approximately 30 cm) and thus demonstrated comparable behavioral-response thresholds (<1 nV cm(-1)). Despite the similarity of response threshold, the orientation pathways and behaviors differed for the two species. Scalloped hammerheads typically demonstrated a pivot orientation in which the edge of the cephalofoil closest to the dipole remained stationary while the shark bent its trunk to orient to the center of the dipole. By contrast, sandbars swam in a broader arc towards the center of the dipole. The different orientation patterns are attributed to the hydrodynamic properties of the cephalofoil, which enables the hammerheads to execute sharp turns at high speed. The greater trunk width of the sandbar sharks prevented them from demonstrating the same degree of flexibility. Therefore, although the sphyrnid head morphology does not appear to confer a greater sensitivity to prey-simulating dipole electric fields, it does provide (1). a greater lateral search area, which may increase the probability of prey encounter, and (2). enhanced maneuverability, which may aid in prey capture. PMID:12409487

  1. Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Davis, Katie E; Pisani, Davide; Tarver, James E; Ruta, Marcello; Sakamoto, Manabu; Hone, David W.E; Jennings, Rachel; Benton, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50 Myr that preceded their extinction, and yet this explosion of dinosaur diversity may be explained largely by sampling bias. It has long been debated whether dinosaurs were part of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR), from 125–80 Myr ago, when flowering plants, herbivorous and social insects, squamates, birds and mammals all underwent a rapid expansion. Although an apparent explosion of dinosaur diversity occurred in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the emergence of new groups (e.g. neoceratopsians, ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, hadrosaurids and pachycephalosaurs), results from the first quantitative study of diversification applied to a new supertree of dinosaurs show that this apparent burst in dinosaurian diversity in the last 18 Myr of the Cretaceous is a sampling artefact. Indeed, major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history. Despite the appearance of new clades of medium to large herbivores and carnivores later in dinosaur history, these new originations do not correspond to significant diversification shifts. Instead, the overall geometry of the Cretaceous part of the dinosaur tree does not depart from the null hypothesis of an equal rates model of lineage branching. Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR. PMID:18647715

  2. Long-term sperm storage in the brownbanded bamboo shark Chiloscyllium punctatum.

    PubMed

    Bernal, M A; Sinai, N L; Rocha, C; Gaither, M R; Dunker, F; Rocha, L A

    2015-03-01

    This study investigated the birth of a brownbanded bamboo shark Chiloscyllium punctatum at the Steinhart Aquarium. Genetic analyses suggest this is the longest documented case of sperm storage for any species of shark (45 months). PMID:25545440

  3. Aminosterols from the dogfish shark Squalus acanthias.

    PubMed

    Rao, M N; Shinnar, A E; Noecker, L A; Chao, T L; Feibush, B; Snyder, B; Sharkansky, I; Sarkahian, A; Zhang, X; Jones, S R; Kinney, W A; Zasloff, M

    2000-05-01

    Seven new aminosterols related to squalamine (8) were isolated from the liver of the dogfish shark Squalus acanthias. Their structures (1-7) were determined using spectroscopic methods, including 2D NMR and HRFABMS. These aminosterols possess a relatively invariant cholestane skeleton with a trans AB ring junction, a spermidine or spermine attached equatorially at C3, and a steroidal side-chain that may be sulfated. The structure of the lone spermine conjugate, 7 (MSI-1436), was confirmed by its synthesis from (5alpha,7alpha, 24R)-7-hydroxy-3-ketocholestan-24-yl sulfate. Some members of this family of aminosterols exhibit a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity comparable to squalamine. PMID:10843574

  4. Learning and memory in the Port Jackson shark, Heterodontus portusjacksoni.

    PubMed

    Guttridge, Tristan L; Brown, Culum

    2014-03-01

    Basic understanding of the fundamental principles and mechanisms involved in learning is lacking for elasmobranch fishes. Our aim in this study was to experimentally investigate the learning and memory capacity of juvenile Port Jackson sharks, Heterodontus portusjacksoni. Sharks (N = 30) were conditioned over a 19-day period to associate an underwater LED light or stream of air-bubbles [conditioned stimulus (CS)] with a food reward [unconditioned stimulus (US)], using three procedures (delay, trace and control). During experiments, the CS signalled at a random time between 180 and 300 s for 30 s (six times per day). For the delay the US overlapped in time with the CS, for the trace the US delivered 10 s after the CS and for our control the US was delivered at random time between 180 and 300 s after the CS. H. portusjacksoni sharks trained in all procedures improved consistently in their time to obtain food, indicative of Pavlovian learning. Importantly, the number of sharks in the feeding area 5 s prior to CS onset did not change over time for any procedures. However, significantly more sharks were present 5 s after CS onset for delay for both air-bubble and light CS. Sharks trained in the delay and trace procedures using air-bubbles as the CS also displayed significantly more anticipatory behaviours, such as turning towards the CS and biting. Sharks trained with the light CS did not exhibit such behaviours; however, trace procedural sharks did show a significant improvement in moving towards the CS at its onset. At 20 and 40 days after the end of the conditioning experiments, some sharks were presented the CS without reward. Two sharks trained in the delay procedure using air-bubbles as the CS exhibited biting behaviours: one at 20 and the other at 40 days. This study demonstrates that H. portusjacksoni have the capacity to learn a classical conditioning procedure relatively quickly (30 trials during 5 days) and associate two time-separated events and

  5. Late Cretaceous- Cenozoic history of deciduousness and the terminal Cretaceous event.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolfe, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    Deciduousness in mesic, broad-leaved plants occurred in disturbed, middle-latitude environments during the Late Cretaceous. Only in polar environments in the Late Cretaceous was the deciduous element dominant, although of low diversity. The terminal Cretaceous event resulted in wide-spread selection for plants of deciduous habit and diversification of deciduous taxa, thus leaving a lasting imprint on Northern Hemisphere vegetation. Various environmental factors have played important roles in subsequent diversification of mesic, broad-leaved deciduous taxa and in origination and decline of broad-leaved deciduous forests. Low diversity and rarity of mesic deciduous plants in the post-Cretaceous of the Southern Hemisphere indicate that the inferred 'impact winter' of the terminal Cretaceous event had little effect on Southern Hemisphere vegetation and climate. -Author

  6. Cretaceous shelf-sea chalk deposits

    SciTech Connect

    Hattin, D.E.

    1988-01-01

    The word ''chalk'' is linked etymologically to the Cretaceous, but chalky facies neither dominate that system nor are confined to it. As used commonly, the term ''chalk'' refers to a variety of marine limestone that is white to light gray very fine grained, soft and friable, porous, and composed predominantly of calcitic skeletal remains, especially those derived from coccolithophores. No simple definition suffices to embrace all Cretaceous chalks, which include sandy, marly, shelly, phospatic, glauconitic, dolomitic, pyritic and organic-rich lithotypes. Most of the world's exposed Cretaceous chalk deposits were formed at shelf depths rather than in the deep sea. Cretaceous shelf-sea chalks are developed most extensively in northern Europe, the U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain and Western Interior, and the Middle East, with lesser occurrences alo in Australia. Most Cretaceous shelf-sea chalks formed in the temperature zones, and in relatively deep water. Cretaceous chalks deposited on well-oxygenated sea floors are bioturbated and massive where deficient in terrigenous detritus, or bioturbated and rhythmically interbedded with argillaceous units where influx of terrigenous detritus varied systematically with climate changes. Accumulation of sufficient pelagic mud to form vast deposits of Cretaceous shelf-sea chalk required (1) sustained high productivity of calareous plankton, (2) extensive development of stable shelf and continental platform environments, (3) highstands of seal level, (4) deficiency of aragonitic skeletal material in chalk-forming sediments, and (5) low rates of terrigenous detrital influx. These conditions were met at different times in different places, even within the same general region.

  7. Mercury accumulation in sharks from the coastal waters of southwest Florida.

    PubMed

    Rumbold, Darren; Wasno, Robert; Hammerschlag, Neil; Volety, Aswani

    2014-10-01

    As large long-lived predators, sharks are particularly vulnerable to exposure to methylmercury biomagnified through the marine food web. Accordingly, nonlethal means were used to collect tissues for determining mercury (Hg) concentrations and stable isotopes of carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) from a total of 69 sharks, comprising 7 species, caught off Southwest Florida from May 2010 through June 2013. Species included blacknose (Carcharhinus acronotus), blacktip (C. limbatus), bull (C. leucas), great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), lemon (Negaprion brevirostris), sharpnose (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), and tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier). The sharks contained Hg concentrations in their muscle tissues ranging from 0.19 mg/kg (wet-weight basis) in a tiger shark to 4.52 mg/kg in a blacktip shark. Individual differences in total length and δ(13)C explained much of the intraspecific variation in Hg concentrations in blacknose, blacktip, and sharpnose sharks, but similar patterns were not evident for Hg and δ(15)N. Interspecific differences in Hg concentration were evident with greater concentrations in slower-growing, mature blacktip sharks and lower concentrations in faster-growing, young tiger sharks than other species. These results are consistent with previous studies reporting age-dependent growth rate can be an important determinant of intraspecific and interspecific patterns in Hg accumulation. The Hg concentrations observed in these sharks, in particular the blacktip shark, also suggested that Hg may pose a threat to shark health and fitness. PMID:24942905

  8. 75 FR 29991 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-28

    ... listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006... permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As such, vessel owners... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XW44 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  9. 75 FR 10217 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-05

    ... business listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2... certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XU40 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  10. 76 FR 59661 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-27

    ... each business listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057... permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As such, vessel owners... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA670 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  11. 75 FR 53871 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Inseason Action To Close the Commercial Porbeagle Shark Fishery

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-02

    ... January 5, 2010 (75 FR 250), NMFS announced that the porbeagle shark fishery for the 2010 fishing year was... Species; Inseason Action To Close the Commercial Porbeagle Shark Fishery AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... closure. SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the commercial fishery for porbeagle sharks. This action is...

  12. 78 FR 15709 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-12

    ... each business listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057... certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC512 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  13. 76 FR 11679 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River (South Channel), Belmar, NJ

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-03

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River (South Channel), Belmar... operation of the S71 Bridge across Shark River (South Channel), mile 0.8, at Belmar, NJ. The deviation is... INFORMATION: The S71 Bridge, a bascule lift drawbridge, across Shark River (South Channel), at mile 0.8,...

  14. 77 FR 61562 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2013 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-10

    ... accompanied the 2011 shark quota specifications rule (75 FR 76302; December 8, 2010). Thus, NMFS proposes to.... Shark stocks that are overfished, have overfishing occurring, or that have an unknown stock status, or... Species; 2013 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service...

  15. 77 FR 75896 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2013 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-26

    ... adaptive management measures from the 2011 shark season rule (75 FR 76302; December 8, 2010) to adjust via... the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP on shark management (73 FR 35778, June 24, 2008; corrected at 73 FR 40658, July 15, 2008), and the 2011 shark season rule (75 FR 76302; December 8, 2010). In Amendment 1...

  16. Ocean-wide tracking of pelagic sharks reveals extent of overlap with longline fishing hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Queiroz, Nuno; Humphries, Nicolas E.; Hammerschlag, Neil; Miller, Peter I.; Sousa, Lara L.; Seabra, Rui; Sims, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Overfishing is arguably the greatest ecological threat facing the oceans, yet catches of many highly migratory fishes including oceanic sharks remain largely unregulated with poor monitoring and data reporting. Oceanic shark conservation is hampered by basic knowledge gaps about where sharks aggregate across population ranges and precisely where they overlap with fishers. Using satellite tracking data from six shark species across the North Atlantic, we show that pelagic sharks occupy predictable habitat hotspots of high space use. Movement modeling showed sharks preferred habitats characterized by strong sea surface-temperature gradients (fronts) over other available habitats. However, simultaneous Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking of the entire Spanish and Portuguese longline-vessel fishing fleets show an 80% overlap of fished areas with hotspots, potentially increasing shark susceptibility to fishing exploitation. Regions of high overlap between oceanic tagged sharks and longliners included the North Atlantic Current/Labrador Current convergence zone and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge southwest of the Azores. In these main regions, and subareas within them, shark/vessel co-occurrence was spatially and temporally persistent between years, highlighting how broadly the fishing exploitation efficiently “tracks” oceanic sharks within their space-use hotspots year-round. Given this intense focus of longliners on shark hotspots, our study argues the need for international catch limits for pelagic sharks and identifies a future role of combining fine-scale fish and vessel telemetry to inform the ocean-scale management of fisheries. PMID:26811467

  17. Ocean-wide tracking of pelagic sharks reveals extent of overlap with longline fishing hotspots.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, Nuno; Humphries, Nicolas E; Mucientes, Gonzalo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Lima, Fernando P; Scales, Kylie L; Miller, Peter I; Sousa, Lara L; Seabra, Rui; Sims, David W

    2016-02-01

    Overfishing is arguably the greatest ecological threat facing the oceans, yet catches of many highly migratory fishes including oceanic sharks remain largely unregulated with poor monitoring and data reporting. Oceanic shark conservation is hampered by basic knowledge gaps about where sharks aggregate across population ranges and precisely where they overlap with fishers. Using satellite tracking data from six shark species across the North Atlantic, we show that pelagic sharks occupy predictable habitat hotspots of high space use. Movement modeling showed sharks preferred habitats characterized by strong sea surface-temperature gradients (fronts) over other available habitats. However, simultaneous Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking of the entire Spanish and Portuguese longline-vessel fishing fleets show an 80% overlap of fished areas with hotspots, potentially increasing shark susceptibility to fishing exploitation. Regions of high overlap between oceanic tagged sharks and longliners included the North Atlantic Current/Labrador Current convergence zone and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge southwest of the Azores. In these main regions, and subareas within them, shark/vessel co-occurrence was spatially and temporally persistent between years, highlighting how broadly the fishing exploitation efficiently "tracks" oceanic sharks within their space-use hotspots year-round. Given this intense focus of longliners on shark hotspots, our study argues the need for international catch limits for pelagic sharks and identifies a future role of combining fine-scale fish and vessel telemetry to inform the ocean-scale management of fisheries. PMID:26811467

  18. 78 FR 52487 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2014 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-23

    ... Mexico regions. In the final rule establishing quotas for the 2013 shark season (77 FR 75896; December 26... overfishing occurring, or have an unknown status. The porbeagle shark management group was not opened in 2013... shark (SCS) management groups, which have been determined not to be overfished and have no...

  19. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Anthony J.; Prebble, Clare E.M.; Marshall, Andrea D.; Bennett, Michael B.; Weeks, Scarla J.; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P.; Pierce, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432–917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420–990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347–1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (<400 cm) whale sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

  20. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks.

    PubMed

    Rohner, Christoph A; Richardson, Anthony J; Prebble, Clare E M; Marshall, Andrea D; Bennett, Michael B; Weeks, Scarla J; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P; Pierce, Simon J

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432-917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420-990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347-1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (<400 cm) whale sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

  1. Is Centrophorus squamosus a highly migratory deep-water shark?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Cabello, Cristina; Sánchez, Francisco

    2014-10-01

    Deep-water sharks are considered highly vulnerable species due to their life characteristics and very low recovery capacity against overfishing. However, there is still limited information on the ecology or population connectivity of these species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the species Centrophorus squamosus could make long displacements and thus confirm the existence of connectivity between different deep-water areas. In addition, the study was the first attempt to use tagging techniques on deep-water sharks, since it has never been undertaken before. Five C. squamosus were tagged with satellite tags (PAT) in the El Cachucho Marine Protected Area (Le Danois Bank) located in waters of the North of Spain, Cantabrian Sea (NE Atlantic). Data from four of these tags were recovered. One of the sharks travelled approximately 287 nm toward the north east (French continental shelf) hypothetically following the continental slope at a mean depth of 901±109 m for 45 days. Two other sharks spent almost 4 months traveling, in which time they moved 143 and 168 nm, respectively, to the west (Galician coast). Finally, another leafscale gulper shark travelled to the NW (Porcupine Bank) during a period of 3 months at a mean depth of 940±132 m. Depth and temperature preferences for all the sharks are discussed. Minimum and maximum depths recorded were 496 and 1848 m, respectively. The temperature range was between 6.2 and 11.4 °C, but the mean temperature was approximately 9.9±0.7 °C. The sharks made large vertical displacements throughout the water column with a mean daily depth range of 345±27 m. These preliminary results support the suggestion of a whole population in the NE Atlantic and confirm the capacity of this species to travel long distances.

  2. Residency and spatial use by reef sharks of an isolated seamount and its implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Adam; Abrantes, Kátya G; Seymour, Jamie; Fitzpatrick, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Although marine protected areas (MPAs) are a common conservation strategy, these areas are often designed with little prior knowledge of the spatial behaviour of the species they are designed to protect. Currently, the Coral Sea area and its seamounts (north-east Australia) are under review to determine if MPAs are warranted. The protection of sharks at these seamounts should be an integral component of conservation plans. Therefore, knowledge on the spatial ecology of sharks at the Coral Sea seamounts is essential for the appropriate implementation of management and conservation plans. Acoustic telemetry was used to determine residency, site fidelity and spatial use of three shark species at Osprey Reef: whitetip reef sharks Triaenodon obesus, grey reef sharks Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos and silvertip sharks Carcharhinus albimarginatus. Most individuals showed year round residency at Osprey Reef, although five of the 49 individuals tagged moved to the neighbouring Shark Reef (~14 km away) and one grey reef shark completed a round trip of ~250 km to the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, individuals of white tip and grey reef sharks showed strong site fidelity to the areas they were tagged, and there was low spatial overlap between groups of sharks tagged at different locations. Spatial use at Osprey Reef by adult sharks is generally restricted to the north-west corner. The high residency and limited spatial use of Osprey Reef suggests that reef sharks would be highly vulnerable to targeted fishing pressure and that MPAs incorporating no-take of sharks would be effective in protecting reef shark populations at Osprey and Shark Reef. PMID:22615782

  3. Residency and Spatial Use by Reef Sharks of an Isolated Seamount and Its Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Barnett, Adam; Abrantes, Kátya G.; Seymour, Jamie; Fitzpatrick, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Although marine protected areas (MPAs) are a common conservation strategy, these areas are often designed with little prior knowledge of the spatial behaviour of the species they are designed to protect. Currently, the Coral Sea area and its seamounts (north-east Australia) are under review to determine if MPAs are warranted. The protection of sharks at these seamounts should be an integral component of conservation plans. Therefore, knowledge on the spatial ecology of sharks at the Coral Sea seamounts is essential for the appropriate implementation of management and conservation plans. Acoustic telemetry was used to determine residency, site fidelity and spatial use of three shark species at Osprey Reef: whitetip reef sharks Triaenodon obesus, grey reef sharks Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos and silvertip sharks Carcharhinus albimarginatus. Most individuals showed year round residency at Osprey Reef, although five of the 49 individuals tagged moved to the neighbouring Shark Reef (∼14 km away) and one grey reef shark completed a round trip of ∼250 km to the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, individuals of white tip and grey reef sharks showed strong site fidelity to the areas they were tagged, and there was low spatial overlap between groups of sharks tagged at different locations. Spatial use at Osprey Reef by adult sharks is generally restricted to the north-west corner. The high residency and limited spatial use of Osprey Reef suggests that reef sharks would be highly vulnerable to targeted fishing pressure and that MPAs incorporating no-take of sharks would be effective in protecting reef shark populations at Osprey and Shark Reef. PMID:22615782

  4. Vulnerability of the Oceanic Whitetip Shark to Pelagic Longline Fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Tolotti, Mariana Travassos; Bach, Pascal; Hazin, Fábio; Travassos, Paulo; Dagorn, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    A combination of fisheries dependent and independent data was used to assess the vulnerability of the oceanic whitetip shark to pelagic longline fisheries. The Brazilian tuna longline fleet, operating in the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic, is used as a case study. Fisheries dependent data include information from logbooks (from 1999 to 2011) and on-board observers (2004 to 2010), totaling 65,277 pelagic longline sets. Fisheries independent data were obtained from 8 oceanic whitetip sharks tagged with pop-up satellite archival tags in the area where longline fleet operated. Deployment periods varied from 60 to 178 days between 2010 and 2012. Tagging and pop-up sites were relatively close to each other, although individuals tended to travel long distances before returning to the tagging area. Some degree of site fidelity was observed. High utilization hotspots of tagged sharks fell inside the area under strongest fishing pressure. Despite the small sample size, a positive correlation between tag recorded information and catch data was detected. All sharks exhibited a strong preference for the warm and shallow waters of the mixed layer, spending on average more than 70% of the time above the thermocline and 95% above 120 m. Results indicate that the removal of shallow hooks on longline gear might be an efficient mitigation measure to reduce the bycatch of this pelagic shark species. The work also highlights the potential of tagging experiments to provide essential information for the development of spatio-temporal management measures. PMID:26492091

  5. Biased Immunoglobulin Light Chain Gene Usage in the Shark.

    PubMed

    Iacoangeli, Anna; Lui, Anita; Naik, Ushma; Ohta, Yuko; Flajnik, Martin; Hsu, Ellen

    2015-10-15

    This study of a large family of κ L chain clusters in nurse shark completes the characterization of its classical Ig gene content (two H chain isotypes, μ and ω, and four L chain isotypes, κ, λ, σ, and σ-2). The shark κ clusters are minigenes consisting of a simple VL-JL-CL array, where V to J recombination occurs over an ~500-bp interval, and functional clusters are widely separated by at least 100 kb. Six out of ~39 κ clusters are prerearranged in the germline (germline joined). Unlike the complex gene organization and multistep assembly process of Ig in mammals, each shark Ig rearrangement, somatic or in the germline, appears to be an independent event localized to the minigene. This study examined the expression of functional, nonproductive, and sterile transcripts of the κ clusters compared with the other three L chain isotypes. κ cluster usage was investigated in young sharks, and a skewed pattern of split gene expression was observed, one similar in functional and nonproductive rearrangements. These results show that the individual activation of the spatially distant κ clusters is nonrandom. Although both split and germline-joined κ genes are expressed, the latter are prominent in young animals and wane with age. We speculate that, in the shark, the differential activation of the multiple isotypes can be advantageously used in receptor editing. PMID:26342033

  6. Body condition predicts energy stores in apex predatory sharks.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Austin J; Wagner, Dominique N; Irschick, Duncan J; Hammerschlag, Neil

    2014-01-01

    Animal condition typically reflects the accumulation of energy stores (e.g. fatty acids), which can influence an individual's decision to undertake challenging life-history events, such as migration and reproduction. Accordingly, researchers often use measures of animal body size and/or weight as an index of condition. However, values of condition, such as fatty acid levels, may not always reflect the physiological state of animals accurately. While the relationships between condition indices and energy stores have been explored in some species (e.g. birds), they have yet to be examined in top predatory fishes, which often undertake extensive and energetically expensive migrations. We used an apex predatory shark (Galeocerdo cuvier, the tiger shark) as a model species to evaluate the relationship between triglycerides (energy metabolite) and a metric of overall body condition. We captured, blood sampled, measured and released 28 sharks (size range 125-303 cm pre-caudal length). In the laboratory, we assayed each plasma sample for triglyceride values. We detected a positive and significant relationship between condition and triglyceride values (P < 0.02). This result may have conservation implications if the largest and highest-condition sharks are exploited in fisheries, because these individuals are likely to have the highest potential for successful reproduction. Our results suggest that researchers may use either plasma triglyceride values or an appropriate measure of body condition for assessing health in large sharks. PMID:27293643

  7. The effect of habitat on modern shark diversification.

    PubMed

    Sorenson, L; Santini, F; Alfaro, M E

    2014-08-01

    Sharks occupy marine habitats ranging from shallow, inshore environments to pelagic, and deepwaters, and thus provide a model system for testing how gross habitat differences have shaped vertebrate macroevolution. Palaeontological studies have shown that onshore lineages diversify more quickly than offshore taxa. Among onshore habitats, coral reef-association has been shown to increase speciation rates in several groups of fishes and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether speciation rates are habitat dependent by generating the first comprehensive molecular timescale for shark divergence. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we rejected the hypothesis that shelf (i.e. onshore) lineages have higher speciation rates compared to those occupying deepwater and oceanic (i.e. offshore) habitats. Our results, however, support the hypothesis of increased speciation rates in coral reef-associated lineages within the Carcharhinidae. Our new timetree suggests that the two major shark lineages leading to the extant shark diversity began diversifying mostly after the end-Permian mass extinction: the squalimorphs into deepwater and the galeomorphs into shelf habitats. We suggest that the breakdown of the onshore-offshore speciation rate pattern in sharks is mediated by success in deepwater environments through ecological partitioning, and in some cases, the evolution of morphological novelty. PMID:24890604

  8. Vulnerability of the Oceanic Whitetip Shark to Pelagic Longline Fisheries.

    PubMed

    Tolotti, Mariana Travassos; Bach, Pascal; Hazin, Fábio; Travassos, Paulo; Dagorn, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    A combination of fisheries dependent and independent data was used to assess the vulnerability of the oceanic whitetip shark to pelagic longline fisheries. The Brazilian tuna longline fleet, operating in the equatorial and southwestern Atlantic, is used as a case study. Fisheries dependent data include information from logbooks (from 1999 to 2011) and on-board observers (2004 to 2010), totaling 65,277 pelagic longline sets. Fisheries independent data were obtained from 8 oceanic whitetip sharks tagged with pop-up satellite archival tags in the area where longline fleet operated. Deployment periods varied from 60 to 178 days between 2010 and 2012. Tagging and pop-up sites were relatively close to each other, although individuals tended to travel long distances before returning to the tagging area. Some degree of site fidelity was observed. High utilization hotspots of tagged sharks fell inside the area under strongest fishing pressure. Despite the small sample size, a positive correlation between tag recorded information and catch data was detected. All sharks exhibited a strong preference for the warm and shallow waters of the mixed layer, spending on average more than 70% of the time above the thermocline and 95% above 120 m. Results indicate that the removal of shallow hooks on longline gear might be an efficient mitigation measure to reduce the bycatch of this pelagic shark species. The work also highlights the potential of tagging experiments to provide essential information for the development of spatio-temporal management measures. PMID:26492091

  9. Sharks: a potential source of antiangiogenic factors and tumor treatments.

    PubMed

    Cho, Jung; Kim, Young

    2002-12-01

    Since angiogenesis is a key feature of tumor growth, inhibiting this process is one way to treat cancer. Cartilage is a natural source of material with strong antiangiogenic activity. This report reviews knowledge of the anticancer properties of shark cartilage and clinical information on drugs such as neovastat and squalamine. Because their entire endoskeleton is composed of cartilage, sharks are thought to be an ideal source of angiogenic and tumor growth inhibitors. Shark cartilage extract has shown antiangiogenic and antitumor activities in animals and humans. The oral administration of cartilage extract was efficacious in reducing angiogenesis. Purified antiangiogenic factors from shark cartilage, such as U-995 and neovastat (AE-941), also showed antiangiogenic and antitumor activity. AE-941 is under phase III clinical investigation. Squalamine, a low molecular weight aminosterol, showed strong antitumor activity when combined with chemotherapeutic materials. The angiogenic tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease 3 (TIMP-3) and tumor suppressor protein (snm23) genes from shark cartilage were cloned and characterized. PMID:14961226

  10. Are Caribbean reef sharks, Carcharhinus perezi, able to perceive human body orientation?

    PubMed

    Ritter, Erich K; Amin, Raid

    2014-05-01

    The present study examines the potential capability of Caribbean reef sharks to perceive human body orientation, as well as discussing the sharks' swimming patterns in a person's vicinity. A standardized video method was used to record the scenario of single SCUBA divers kneeling in the sand and the approach patterns of sharks, combined with a control group of two divers kneeling back-to-back. When approaching a single test-subject, significantly more sharks preferred to swim outside the person's field of vision. The results suggest that these sharks are able to identify human body orientation, but the mechanisms used and factors affecting nearest distance of approach remain unclear. PMID:24305995

  11. Shark is the man!”: ethnoknowledge of Brazil’s South Bahia fishermen regarding shark behaviors

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Fishermen’s knowledge is a source of indispensable information in decision-making processes related to efforts to stimulate the management and conservation of fishing resources, especially in developing countries. This study analyzed the knowledge of fishermen from three municipal areas of Bahia in northeast Brazil regarding the behavior repertoire of sharks and the possible influence that these perceptions may have on the inclination to preserve these animals. This is a pioneering study on the ethnobiological aspects of elasmobranchs in Brazil. Methods Open, semi-structured interviews with shark fishing specialists were conducted between September 2011 and October 2012. The interviews addressed the fishermen’s profile, fishing techniques and knowledge about sharks, focusing on the behaviours exhibited by sharks. The data were analysed with quantitative approach and conducted with the use of descriptive statistical techniques. Results Sixty-five fishermen were interviewed. They descend from the rafting subculture of Brazil’s northeast, which has historically been disregarded by public policies addressing the management and conservation of fishing resources. The fishing fleet involved in shark fishing includes rafts, fishing boats and lobster boats equipped with fishing lines, gillnets, longlines and “esperas”. The informers classified sharks’ behaviour repertoire into 19 ethological categories, related especially to feeding, reproduction, and social and migratory behaviours. Because they identify sharks as predators, the detailed recognition of the behaviours exhibited is crucial both for an efficient catch and to avoid accidents. Therefore, this knowledge is doubly adaptive as it contributes to safer, more lucrative fishing. A feeling of respect for sharks predominates, since informers recognize the ecological role of these animals in marine ecosystems, attributing them the status of leader (or “the man”) in the sea. Conclusions This

  12. The race against the "septic shark".

    PubMed

    Westphal, Martin; Kampmeier, Tim

    2015-01-01

    Great white sharks are responsible for about 10 cases of death annually worldwide, as compared with millions of deaths caused by sepsis. However, the basic principles of avoiding shark attacks and fighting sepsis seem to be similar: avoidance, attention, and speed, if necessary. The present review discusses the current status of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria, which are actually content for discussion because of their low specificity. Current data suggest that one in eight patients with severe sepsis does not fulfill the SIRS criteria and is consequently missed, and therefore the calls for new definitions of sepsis are getting louder. Furthermore, the need for early treatment of sepsis and fast admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) with experienced stuff is reviewed as well as the early and appropriate initiation of therapy, namely antibiotic and volume therapy. A key feature is the analysis of the studies from the so-called "Sepsis Trilogy" (ProCESS, ARISE, and ProMiSe studies), with a focus on the status of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT). The authors of the "Sepsis Trilogy" concluded that there is no benefit regarding survival in septic patients by using EGDT as compared with standard therapy. However, the low mortality of the control groups within the "Sepsis Trilogy" studies as compared with the Rivers et al. study from 2001 leads to the conclusion that there has been an improvement in the therapy of septic patients, most probably due to the early initiation of therapy as a kind of "standard" in sepsis therapy. Finally, the phenomenon of a "large trial disease" is discussed, exemplary in a trial which investigated the maintenance of the "right" mean arterial pressure in sepsis patients. Even if the result of a large randomized trial might be that there is no difference between two study groups, the real exercise is to identify the patient collectives who might benefit or experience harm due to an intervention. In summary, as

  13. The race against the "septic shark"

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Great white sharks are responsible for about 10 cases of death annually worldwide, as compared with millions of deaths caused by sepsis. However, the basic principles of avoiding shark attacks and fighting sepsis seem to be similar: avoidance, attention, and speed, if necessary. The present review discusses the current status of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria, which are actually content for discussion because of their low specificity. Current data suggest that one in eight patients with severe sepsis does not fulfill the SIRS criteria and is consequently missed, and therefore the calls for new definitions of sepsis are getting louder. Furthermore, the need for early treatment of sepsis and fast admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) with experienced stuff is reviewed as well as the early and appropriate initiation of therapy, namely antibiotic and volume therapy. A key feature is the analysis of the studies from the so-called "Sepsis Trilogy" (ProCESS, ARISE, and ProMiSe studies), with a focus on the status of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT). The authors of the "Sepsis Trilogy" concluded that there is no benefit regarding survival in septic patients by using EGDT as compared with standard therapy. However, the low mortality of the control groups within the "Sepsis Trilogy" studies as compared with the Rivers et al. study from 2001 leads to the conclusion that there has been an improvement in the therapy of septic patients, most probably due to the early initiation of therapy as a kind of "standard" in sepsis therapy. Finally, the phenomenon of a "large trial disease" is discussed, exemplary in a trial which investigated the maintenance of the "right" mean arterial pressure in sepsis patients. Even if the result of a large randomized trial might be that there is no difference between two study groups, the real exercise is to identify the patient collectives who might benefit or experience harm due to an intervention. In summary, as

  14. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Roelants, Kim; Biju, S D; Nagaraju, J; Bossuyt, Franky

    2006-01-01

    Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions. PMID:17183706

  15. A Cretaceous Hoofed Mammal from India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, G. V. R.; Verma, O.; Sahni, A.; Parmar, V.; Khosla, A.

    2007-11-01

    The sedimentary record documenting the northward drift of India (Late Cretaceous to late Early Eocene) has recently provided important clues to the evolution, radiation, and dispersal of mammals. Here, we report a definitive Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) archaic ungulate (Kharmerungulatum vanvaleni genus et species nova) from the Deccan volcano-sedimentary sequences exposed near Kisalpuri village in Central India. This find has important implications for the origin and diversification of early ungulates and raises three possible paleobiogeographic scenarios: (i) Were archaic ungulates cosmopolitan in distribution? (ii) Was Kharmerungulatum an immigrant from Western Asia? (iii) Did archaic ungulates originate in India?

  16. An opilioacarid mite in Cretaceous Burmese amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlop, Jason A.; de Oliveira Bernardi, Leopoldo Ferreira

    2014-09-01

    A fossil opilioacarid mite (Parasitiformes: Opilioacarida) in Burmese amber is described as ? Opilioacarus groehni sp. nov. This ca. 99 Ma record (Upper Cretaceous: Cenomanian) represents only the third fossil example of this putatively basal mite lineage, the others originating from Eocene Baltic amber (ca. 44-49 Ma). Our new record is not only the oldest record of Opilioacarida, but it is also one of the oldest examples of the entire Parasitiformes clade. The presence of Opilioacarida—potentially Opiloacarus—in the Cretaceous of SE Asia suggests that some modern genus groups were formerly more widely distributed across the northern hemisphere, raising questions about previously suggested Gondwanan origins for these mites.

  17. The last dicynodont: an Australian Cretaceous relict.

    PubMed Central

    Thulborn, Tony; Turner, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Some long-forgotten fossil evidence reveals that a dicynodont (mammal-like reptile of the infraorder Dicynodontia) inhabited Australia as recently as the Early Cretaceous, ca. 110 Myr after the supposed extinction of dicynodonts in the Late Triassic. This remarkably late occurrence more than doubles the known duration of dicynodont history (from ca. 63 Myr to ca. 170 Myr) and betrays the profound impact of geographical isolation on Australian terrestrial faunas through the Mesozoic. Australia's late-surviving dicynodont may be envisaged as a counterpart of the ceratopians (horned dinosaurs) in Cretaceous tetrapod faunas of Asia and North America. PMID:12803915

  18. Identification and evaluation of shark bycatch in Georgia's commercial shrimp trawl fishery with implications for management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belcher, C.N.; Jennings, C.A.

    2011-01-01

    Many US states have recreational and commercial fisheries that occur in nursery areas occupied by subadult sharks and can potentially affect their survival. Georgia is one of few US states without a directed commercial shark fishery, but the state has a large, nearshore penaeid shrimp trawl fishery in which small sharks occur as bycatch. During our 1995–1998 investigation of bycatch in fishery-dependent sampling events, 34% of 127 trawls contained sharks. This bycatch totalled 217 individuals from six species, with Atlantic sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae (Richardson), the most common and finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon (Müller & Henle) and spinner shark, Carcharhinus brevipinna (Müller & Henle), the least common. The highest catch rates for sharks occurred during June and July and coincided with the peak months of the pupping season for many species. Trawl tow speed and tow time did not significantly influence catch rates for shark species. Gear configurations [net type, turtle excluder device (TED), bycatch reduction device] affected catch rates for shark species. Results of this study indicate gear restrictions, a delayed season opening, or reduced bar spacing on TEDs may reduce shark bycatch in this fishery.

  19. High Post-Capture Survival for Sharks, Rays and Chimaeras Discarded in the Main Shark Fishery of Australia?

    PubMed Central

    Braccini, Matias; Van Rijn, Jay; Frick, Lorenz

    2012-01-01

    Most sharks, rays and chimaeras (chondrichthyans) taken in commercial fisheries are discarded (i.e. returned to the ocean either dead or alive). Quantifying the post-capture survival (PCS) of discarded species is therefore essential for the improved management and conservation of this group. For all chondrichthyans taken in the main shark fishery of Australia, we quantified the immediate PCS of individuals reaching the deck of commercial shark gillnet fishing vessels and applied a risk-based method to semi-quantitatively determine delayed and total PCS. Estimates of immediate, delayed and total PCS were consistent, being very high for the most commonly discarded species (Port Jackson shark, Australian swellshark, and spikey dogfish) and low for the most important commercial species (gummy and school sharks). Increasing gillnet soak time or water temperature significantly decreased PCS. Chondrichthyans with bottom-dwelling habits had the highest PCS whereas those with pelagic habits had the lowest PCS. The risk-based approach can be easily implemented as a standard practice of on-board observing programs, providing a convenient first-step assessment of the PCS of all species taken in commercial fisheries. PMID:22384270

  20. Diving behaviour of whale sharks in relation to a predictable food pulse

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Rachel T; Roberts, Callum M; Smart, James C.R

    2005-01-01

    We present diving data for four whale sharks in relation to a predictable food pulse (reef fish spawn) and an analysis of the longest continuous fine-resolution diving record for a planktivorous shark. Fine-resolution pressure data from a recovered pop-up archival satellite tag deployed for 206 days on a whale shark were analysed using the fast Fourier Transform method for frequency domain analysis of time-series. The results demonstrated that a free-ranging whale shark displays ultradian, diel and circa-lunar rhythmicity of diving behaviour. Whale sharks dive to over 979.5 m and can tolerate a temperature range of 26.4 °C. The whale sharks made primarily diurnal deep dives and remained in relatively shallow waters at night. Whale shark diving patterns are influenced by a seasonally predictable food source, with shallower dives made during fish spawning periods. PMID:16849222

  1. The influence of culture on the international management of shark finning.

    PubMed

    Dell'Apa, Andrea; Smith, M Chad; Kaneshiro-Pineiro, Mahealani Y

    2014-08-01

    Shark finning is prohibited in many countries, but high prices for fins from the Asian market help maintain the international black-market and poaching. Traditional shark fin bans fail to recognize that the main driver of fin exploitation is linked to cultural beliefs about sharks in traditional Chinese culture. Therefore, shark finning should be addressed considering the social science approach as part of the fishery management scheme. This paper investigates the cultural significance of sharks in traditional Chinese and Hawaiian cultures, as valuable examples of how specific differences in cultural beliefs can drive individuals' attitudes toward the property of shark finning. We suggest the use of a social science approach that can be useful in the design of successful education campaigns to help change individuals' attitudes toward shark fin consumption. Finally, alternative management strategies for commercial fishers are provided to maintain self-sustainability of local coastal communities. PMID:24828065

  2. The Influence of Culture on the International Management of Shark Finning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dell'Apa, Andrea; Chad Smith, M.; Kaneshiro-Pineiro, Mahealani Y.

    2014-08-01

    Shark finning is prohibited in many countries, but high prices for fins from the Asian market help maintain the international black-market and poaching. Traditional shark fin bans fail to recognize that the main driver of fin exploitation is linked to cultural beliefs about sharks in traditional Chinese culture. Therefore, shark finning should be addressed considering the social science approach as part of the fishery management scheme. This paper investigates the cultural significance of sharks in traditional Chinese and Hawaiian cultures, as valuable examples of how specific differences in cultural beliefs can drive individuals' attitudes toward the property of shark finning. We suggest the use of a social science approach that can be useful in the design of successful education campaigns to help change individuals' attitudes toward shark fin consumption. Finally, alternative management strategies for commercial fishers are provided to maintain self-sustainability of local coastal communities.

  3. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in thirteen shark species from offshore and coastal waters of Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyun-Kyung; Kim, Sang-Jo; Jeong, Yunsun; Lee, Sunggyu; Jeong, Woochang; Lee, Won-Chan; Choy, Eun-Jung; Kang, Chang-Keun; Moon, Hyo-Bang

    2015-06-15

    Limited reports are available on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in sharks. In this study, PBDEs were measured in dorsal muscles (n=105) from 13 shark species collected from offshore and coastal waters of Korea. The PBDE concentrations varied greatly not only among species but also within species of sharks. The major PBDE congeners detected in our samples were BDEs 47, 28, 99, 153, 100, and 154. Concentrations of PBDEs in sharks in this study were lower than those reported for previous studies. The high PBDE concentrations were found for aggressive shark species. Inter-species differences in the concentrations and accumulation profiles of PBDEs are explained by differences in feeding habits and sampling locations. Several contributing factors such as growth velocity, trophic level, and local contamination may affect the bioaccumulation of PBDEs in sharks. The present study provides baselines for the occurrence and accumulation status of PBDEs in various shark species. PMID:25935804

  4. Digestive enzyme activities are higher in the shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, than in ectothermic sharks as a result of visceral endothermy.

    PubMed

    Newton, Kyle C; Wraith, James; Dickson, Kathryn A

    2015-08-01

    Lamnid sharks are regionally endothermic fishes that maintain visceral temperatures elevated above the ambient water temperature. Visceral endothermy is thought to increase rates of digestion and food processing and allow thermal niche expansion. We tested the hypothesis that, at in vivo temperatures, the endothermic shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, has higher specific activities of three digestive enzymes-gastric pepsin and pancreatic trypsin and lipase-than the thresher shark, Alopias vulpinus, and the blue shark, Prionace glauca, neither of which can maintain elevated visceral temperatures. Homogenized stomach or pancreas tissue obtained from sharks collected by pelagic longline was incubated at both 15 and 25 °C, at saturating substrate concentrations, to quantify tissue enzymatic activity. The mako had significantly higher enzyme activities at 25 °C than did the thresher and blue sharks at 15 °C. This difference was not a simple temperature effect, because at 25 °C the mako had higher trypsin activity than the blue shark and higher activities for all enzymes than the thresher shark. We also hypothesized that the thermal coefficient, or Q 10 value, would be higher for the mako shark than for the thresher and blue sharks because of its more stable visceral temperature. However, the mako and thresher sharks had similar Q 10 values for all enzymes, perhaps because of their closer phylogenetic relationship. The higher in vivo digestive enzyme activities in the mako shark should result in higher rates of food processing and may represent a selective advantage of regional visceral endothermy. PMID:25893905

  5. A new metric for measuring condition in large predatory sharks.

    PubMed

    Irschick, D J; Hammerschlag, N

    2014-09-01

    A simple metric (span condition analysis; SCA) is presented for quantifying the condition of sharks based on four measurements of body girth relative to body length. Data on 104 live sharks from four species that vary in body form, behaviour and habitat use (Carcharhinus leucas, Carcharhinus limbatus, Ginglymostoma cirratum and Galeocerdo cuvier) are given. Condition shows similar levels of variability among individuals within each species. Carcharhinus leucas showed a positive relationship between condition and body size, whereas the other three species showed no relationship. There was little evidence for strong differences in condition between males and females, although more male sharks are needed for some species (e.g. G. cuvier) to verify this finding. SCA is potentially viable for other large marine or terrestrial animals that are captured live and then released. PMID:25130454

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome of the dusky shark Carcharhinus obscurus.

    PubMed

    Blower, Dean C; Hereward, James P; Ovenden, Jennifer R

    2013-12-01

    The dusky shark Carcharhinus obscurus is economically important but vulnerable to overharvesting. The complete C. obscurus mitogenome was assembled from approximately 1 million whole genome shotgun sequences using a combination of reference mapping and de novo assembly (mean coverage 59x). This resulted in a 16,706 bp double-stranded circular mitochondrial sequence. Following the consensus vertebrate mtDNA genome, it comprises 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, two ribosomal RNAs and has 2 non-coding areas. The A + T (56.9%) versus G + C (43.1%) composition confirmed an A + T bias previously noted for sharks. This genome is the first for the speciose Carcharhinus genus and provides a valuable resource for studies of shark molecular systematics, phylogeography, conservation genetics, and stock structure. PMID:23551174

  7. Shark Bay, Australia as seen from STS-67 Endeavour

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    An oblique view of the Shark Bay complex from the east. Hamelin Pool at the center of the photo and Shark Bay proper are separated from Freycinet Estuary and Denham Sound by the Peron Peninsula. These, in turn, are separated from the Indian Ocean by Edel Land Peninsula and Dirk Hartog Island. This arid western coast of western Australia is very sparsely populated, but a few roads can be seen. A complex set of lime-sediment shoals and tidal passes forms the Disappointment Reach shallows. Some red, land-derived mud does make its way into the inter tidal zone along the coast north of the reach. The clouds of light-colored water in Shark Bay and Denham Sound may either be lime sediment, perhaps percipitated from sea water (whitings), or a plankton bloom.

  8. Iso-luminance counterillumination drove bioluminescent shark radiation

    PubMed Central

    Claes, Julien M.; Nilsson, Dan-Eric; Straube, Nicolas; Collin, Shaun P.; Mallefet, Jérôme

    2014-01-01

    Counterilluminating animals use ventral photogenic organs (photophores) to mimic the residual downwelling light and cloak their silhouette from upward-looking predators. To cope with variable conditions of pelagic light environments they typically adjust their luminescence intensity. Here, we found evidence that bioluminescent sharks instead emit a constant light output and move up and down in the water column to remain cryptic at iso-luminance depth. We observed, across 21 globally distributed shark species, a correlation between capture depth and the proportion of a ventral area occupied by photophores. This information further allowed us, using visual modelling, to provide an adaptive explanation for shark photophore pattern diversity: in species facing moderate predation risk from below, counterilluminating photophores were partially co-opted for bioluminescent signalling, leading to complex patterns. In addition to increase our understanding of pelagic ecosystems our study emphasizes the importance of bioluminescence as a speciation driver. PMID:24608897

  9. Direct evidence of hybodont shark predation on Late Jurassic ammonites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain

    2011-06-01

    Sharks are known to have been ammonoid predators, as indicated by analysis of bite marks or coprolite contents. However, body fossil associations attesting to this predator-prey relationship have never been described so far. Here, I report a unique finding from the Late Jurassic of western France: a complete specimen of the Kimmeridgian ammonite Orthaspidoceras bearing one tooth of the hybodont shark Planohybodus. Some possible tooth puncture marks are also observed. This is the first direct evidence of such a trophic link between these two major Mesozoic groups, allowing an accurate identification of both organisms. Although Planohybodus displays a tearing-type dentition generally assumed to have been especially adapted for large unshelled prey, our discovery clearly shows that this shark was also able to attack robust ammonites such as aspidoceratids. The direct evidence presented here provides new insights into the Mesozoic marine ecosystem food webs.

  10. Quantification of Massive Seasonal Aggregations of Blacktip Sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) in Southeast Florida.

    PubMed

    Kajiura, Stephen M; Tellman, Shari L

    2016-01-01

    Southeast Florida witnesses an enormous seasonal influx of upper trophic level marine predators each year as massive aggregations of migrating blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) overwinter in nearshore waters. The narrow shelf and close proximity of the Gulf Stream current to the Palm Beach County shoreline drive tens of thousands of sharks to the shallow, coastal environment. This natural bottleneck provides a unique opportunity to estimate relative abundance. Over a four year period from 2011-2014, an aerial survey was flown approximately biweekly along the length of Palm Beach County. A high definition video camera and digital still camera mounted out of the airplane window provided a continuous record of the belt transect which extended 200 m seaward from the shoreline between Boca Raton Inlet and Jupiter Inlet. The number of sharks within the survey transect was directly counted from the video. Shark abundance peaked in the winter (January-March) with a maximum in 2011 of 12,128 individuals counted within the 75.6 km(-2) belt transect. This resulted in a maximum density of 803.2 sharks km(-2). By the late spring (April-May), shark abundance had sharply declined to 1.1% of its peak, where it remained until spiking again in January of the following year. Shark abundance was inversely correlated with water temperature and large numbers of sharks were found only when water temperatures were less than 25 °C. Shark abundance was also correlated with day of the year but not with barometric pressure. Although shark abundance was not correlated with photoperiod, the departure of the sharks from southeast Florida occurred around the vernal equinox. The shark migration along the United States eastern seaboard corresponds spatially and temporally with the spawning aggregations of various baitfish species. These baseline abundance data can be compared to future studies to determine if shark population size is changing and if sharks are restricting their southward

  11. Feeding of the megamouth shark (Pisces: Lamniformes: Megachasmidae) predicted by its hyoid arch: a biomechanical approach.

    PubMed

    Tomita, Taketeru; Sato, Keiichi; Suda, Kenta; Kawauchi, Junro; Nakaya, Kazuhiro

    2011-05-01

    Studies of the megamouth shark, one of three planktivorous sharks, can provide information about their evolutionary history. Megamouth shark feeding has never been observed in life animals, but two alternative hypotheses on biomechanics suggest either feeding, i.e., ram feeding or suction feeding. In this study, the second moment of area of the ceratohyal cartilages, which is an indicator of the flexural stiffness of the cartilages, is calculated for 21 species of ram- and suction-feeding sharks using computed tomography. The results indicate that suction-feeding sharks have ceratohyal cartilages with a larger second moment of area than ram-feeding sharks. The result also indicates that the ram-suction index, which is an indicator of relative contribution of ram and suction behavior, is also correlated with the second moment of area of the ceratohyal. Considering that large bending stresses are expected to be applied to the ceratohyal cartilage during suction, the larger second moment of area of the ceratohyal of suction-feeding sharks can be interpreted as an adaptation for suction feeding. Based on the small second moment of area of the ceratohyal cartilage of the megamouth shark, the feeding mode of the megamouth shark is considered to be ram feeding, similar to the planktivorous basking shark. From these results, an evolutionary scenario of feeding mechanics of three species of planktivorous sharks can be suggested. In this scenario, the planktivorous whale shark evolved ram feeding from a benthic suction-feeding ancestor. Ram feeding in the planktivorous megamouth shark and the basking shark evolved from ram feeding swimming-type ancestors and that both developed their unique filtering system to capture small-sized prey. PMID:21381075

  12. Quantification of Massive Seasonal Aggregations of Blacktip Sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) in Southeast Florida

    PubMed Central

    Kajiura, Stephen M.; Tellman, Shari L.

    2016-01-01

    Southeast Florida witnesses an enormous seasonal influx of upper trophic level marine predators each year as massive aggregations of migrating blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) overwinter in nearshore waters. The narrow shelf and close proximity of the Gulf Stream current to the Palm Beach County shoreline drive tens of thousands of sharks to the shallow, coastal environment. This natural bottleneck provides a unique opportunity to estimate relative abundance. Over a four year period from 2011–2014, an aerial survey was flown approximately biweekly along the length of Palm Beach County. A high definition video camera and digital still camera mounted out of the airplane window provided a continuous record of the belt transect which extended 200 m seaward from the shoreline between Boca Raton Inlet and Jupiter Inlet. The number of sharks within the survey transect was directly counted from the video. Shark abundance peaked in the winter (January-March) with a maximum in 2011 of 12,128 individuals counted within the 75.6 km-2 belt transect. This resulted in a maximum density of 803.2 sharks km-2. By the late spring (April-May), shark abundance had sharply declined to 1.1% of its peak, where it remained until spiking again in January of the following year. Shark abundance was inversely correlated with water temperature and large numbers of sharks were found only when water temperatures were less than 25°C. Shark abundance was also correlated with day of the year but not with barometric pressure. Although shark abundance was not correlated with photoperiod, the departure of the sharks from southeast Florida occurred around the vernal equinox. The shark migration along the United States eastern seaboard corresponds spatially and temporally with the spawning aggregations of various baitfish species. These baseline abundance data can be compared to future studies to determine if shark population size is changing and if sharks are restricting their southward

  13. Laminar separation control effects of shortfin mako shark skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradshaw, Michael Thomas

    Shark skin is investigated as a means of laminar flow separation control due to its preferential flow direction as well as the potential for scales to erect and obstruct low-momentum backflow resulting from an adverse pressure gradient acting on the boundary layer. In this study, the effect of the scales on flow reversal is observed in laminar flow conditions. This is achieved by comparing the flow over a pectoral fin from a shortfin mako shark to that over the same fin that is painted to neutralize the effect of the scales on the flow. The effect of the scales on flow reversal is also observed by comparing the flow over a smooth PVC cylinder to that over the same cylinder with samples of mako shark skin affixed to the entire circumference of the cylinder. These samples were taken from the flank region of the shark because the scales at this location have been shown to have the greatest angle of erection compared to the scales on the rest of the shark's body. Scales at this location have an average crown length of 220 microm with a maximum bristling angle of proximately 50 degrees. Because these scales have the highest bristling angle, they have the best potential for separation control. All data was taken using time-resolved Digital Particle Image Velocimetry. The flow over the pectoral fin was analyzed at multiple angles of attack. It was found that the shark skin had the effect of decreasing the size of the separated region over both the pectoral fin and the cylinder as well as decreasing the magnitudes of the reversing flow found in these regions. For all Reynolds numbers tested, drag reduction over 28% was found when applying the sharkskin to the cylinder.

  14. Dynamics of whale shark occurrence at their fringe oceanic habitat.

    PubMed

    Afonso, Pedro; McGinty, Niall; Machete, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, are largely unknown. We analysed a 16-year (1998-2013) observer dataset from the pole-and-line tuna fishery across the Azores (mid-North Atlantic) and used GAM models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of whale shark occurrence in relation to oceanographic features. Across this period, the whale shark became a regular summer visitor to the archipelago after a sharp increase in sighting frequency seen in 2008. We found that SST helps predicting their occurrence in the region associated to the position of the seasonal 22°C isotherm, showing that the Azores are at a thermal boundary for this species and providing an explanation for the post 2007 increase. Within the region, whale shark detections were also higher in areas of increased bathymetric slope and closer to the seamounts, coinciding with higher chl-a biomass, a behaviour most probably associated to increased feeding opportunities. They also showed a tendency to be clustered around the southernmost island of Santa Maria. This study shows that the region integrates the oceanic habitat of adult whale shark and suggests that an increase in its relative importance for the Atlantic population might be expected in face of climate change. PMID:25028929

  15. Dynamics of Whale Shark Occurrence at Their Fringe Oceanic Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Afonso, Pedro; McGinty, Niall; Machete, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), a vulnerable large filter feeder, seasonally aggregates at highly productive coastal sites and that individuals can perform large, trans-boundary migrations to reach these locations. Yet, the whereabouts of the whale shark when absent from these sites and the potential oceanographic and biological drivers involved in shaping their present and future habitat use, including that located at the fringes of their suitable oceanic habitat, are largely unknown. We analysed a 16-year (1998–2013) observer dataset from the pole-and-line tuna fishery across the Azores (mid-North Atlantic) and used GAM models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of whale shark occurrence in relation to oceanographic features. Across this period, the whale shark became a regular summer visitor to the archipelago after a sharp increase in sighting frequency seen in 2008. We found that SST helps predicting their occurrence in the region associated to the position of the seasonal 22°C isotherm, showing that the Azores are at a thermal boundary for this species and providing an explanation for the post 2007 increase. Within the region, whale shark detections were also higher in areas of increased bathymetric slope and closer to the seamounts, coinciding with higher chl-a biomass, a behaviour most probably associated to increased feeding opportunities. They also showed a tendency to be clustered around the southernmost island of Santa Maria. This study shows that the region integrates the oceanic habitat of adult whale shark and suggests that an increase in its relative importance for the Atlantic population might be expected in face of climate change. PMID:25028929

  16. Experimental Evaluation of Shark Detection Rates by Aerial Observers

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, William D.; Peddemors, Victor M.; Kennelly, Steven J.; Ives, Matthew C.

    2014-01-01

    Aerial surveys are a recognised technique to identify the presence and abundance of marine animals. However, the capability of aerial observers to reliably sight coastal sharks has not been previously assessed, nor have differences in sighting rates between aircraft types been examined. In this study we investigated the ability of observers in fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft to sight 2.5 m artificial shark analogues placed at known depths and positions. Initial tests revealed that the shark analogues could only be detected at shallow depths, averaging only 2.5 m and 2.7 m below the water surface for observers in fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft, respectively. We then deployed analogues at shallower depths along a 5 km-long grid, and assessed their sightability to aircraft observers through a series of transects flown within 500 m. Analogues were seen infrequently from all distances, with overall sighting rates of only 12.5% and 17.1% for fixed-wing and helicopter observers, respectively. Although helicopter observers had consistently higher success rates of sighting analogues within 250 m of their flight path, neither aircraft observers sighted more than 9% of analogues deployed over 300 m from their flight paths. Modelling of sighting rates against environmental and experimental variables indicated that observations were affected by distance, aircraft type, sun glare and sea conditions, while the range of water turbidities observed had no effect. We conclude that aerial observers have limited ability to detect the presence of submerged animals such as sharks, particularly when the sharks are deeper than ∼2.6 m, or over 300 m distant from the aircraft's flight path, especially during sunny or windy days. The low rates of detections found in this study cast serious doubts on the use of aerial beach patrols as an effective early-warning system to prevent shark attacks. PMID:24498258

  17. DNA capture reveals transoceanic gene flow in endangered river sharks.

    PubMed

    Li, Chenhong; Corrigan, Shannon; Yang, Lei; Straube, Nicolas; Harris, Mark; Hofreiter, Michael; White, William T; Naylor, Gavin J P

    2015-10-27

    For over a hundred years, the "river sharks" of the genus Glyphis were only known from the type specimens of species that had been collected in the 19th century. They were widely considered extinct until populations of Glyphis-like sharks were rediscovered in remote regions of Borneo and Northern Australia at the end of the 20th century. However, the genetic affinities between the newly discovered Glyphis-like populations and the poorly preserved, original museum-type specimens have never been established. Here, we present the first (to our knowledge) fully resolved, complete phylogeny of Glyphis that includes both archival-type specimens and modern material. We used a sensitive DNA hybridization capture method to obtain complete mitochondrial genomes from all of our samples and show that three of the five described river shark species are probably conspecific and widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Furthermore we show that there has been recent gene flow between locations that are separated by large oceanic expanses. Our data strongly suggest marine dispersal in these species, overturning the widely held notion that river sharks are restricted to freshwater. It seems that species in the genus Glyphis are euryhaline with an ecology similar to the bull shark, in which adult individuals live in the ocean while the young grow up in river habitats with reduced predation pressure. Finally, we discovered a previously unidentified species within the genus Glyphis that is deeply divergent from all other lineages, underscoring the current lack of knowledge about the biodiversity and ecology of these mysterious sharks. PMID:26460025

  18. Dental patterning in the earliest sharks: Implications for tooth evolution.

    PubMed

    Maisey, John G; Turner, Susan; Naylor, Gavin J P; Miller, Randall F

    2014-05-01

    Doliodus problematicus is the oldest known fossil shark-like fish with an almost intact dentition (Emsian, Lower Devonian, c. 397Ma). We provide a detailed description of the teeth and dentition in D. problematicus, based on tomographic analysis of NBMG 10127 (New Brunswick Museum, Canada). Comparisons with modern shark dentitions suggest that Doliodus was a ram-feeding predator with a dentition adapted to seizing and disabling prey. Doliodus provides several clues about the early evolution of the "shark-like" dentition in chondrichthyans and also raises new questions about the evolution of oral teeth in jawed vertebrates. As in modern sharks, teeth in Doliodus were replaced in a linguo-labial sequence within tooth families at fixed positions along the jaws (12-14 tooth families per jaw quadrant in NBMG 10127). Doliodus teeth were replaced much more slowly than in modern sharks. Nevertheless, its tooth formation was apparently as highly organized as in modern elasmobranchs, in which future tooth positions are indicated by synchronized expression of shh at fixed loci within the dental epithelium. Comparable dental arrays are absent in osteichthyans, placoderms, and many "acanthodians"; a "shark-like" dentition, therefore, may be a synapomorphy of chondrichthyans and gnathostomes such as Ptomacanthus. The upper anterior teeth in Doliodus were not attached to the palatoquadrates, but were instead supported by the ethmoid region of the prechordal basicranium, as in some other Paleozoic taxa (e.g., Triodus, Ptomacanthus). This suggests that the chondrichthyan dental lamina was originally associated with prechordal basicranial cartilage as well as jaw cartilage, and that the modern elasmobranch condition (in which the oral dentition is confined to the jaws) is phylogenetically advanced. Thus, oral tooth development in modern elasmobranchs does not provide a complete developmental model for chondrichthyans or gnathostomes. PMID:24347366

  19. Neoselachians and Chimaeriformes (Chondrichthyes) from the latest Cretaceous-Paleogene of Sierra Baguales, southernmost Chile. Chronostratigraphic, paleobiogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otero, Rodrigo A.; Oyarzún, José Luis; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; Yury-Yáñez, Roberto E.; Gutierrez, Nestor M.; Le Roux, Jacobus P.; Torres, Teresa; Hervé, Francisco

    2013-12-01

    This paper discusses a well-represented fossil record of cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) from southern South America. The recovered samples allow the recognition of three assemblages with chronostratigraphic and paleogeographic value: i) typical Maastrichtian sharks and rays with affinities to eastern Pacific fauna, including the taxa Ischyrhiza chilensis, Serratolamna serrata, Centrophoroides sp. associated to Carcharias sp., and Dasyatidae indet.; ii) a scarce reworked assemblage of Paleocene-Early Eocene age including the taxa Otodus obliquus and Megascyliorhinus cooperi; iii) a rich assemblage with reworked taxa of Early to Middle Eocene age, together with autochthonous deposited Middle to Late Eocene taxa with close affinities to paleoichthyofaunas recovered from the North Atlantic, represented by Carcharias 'hopei', Odontaspis winkleri, Carcharoides catticus, Macrorhizodus praecursor, Carcharocles auriculatus, Striatolamia sp., Striatolamia macrota, Hexanchus agassizi, Notorhynchus sp., Myliobatis sp., Abdounia sp., Pristiophorus sp., Squatina sp., cf. Rhizoprionodon sp., Ischyodus sp., and one new species, Jaekelotodus bagualensis sp. nov. The studied samples include for the first time taxa with well established chronostratigraphic resolutions as well as taphonomic information that help clarifying the age of the fossil-bearing units. In addition, they provide relevant information about the evolution of the Magallanes (=Austral) Basin from the Upper Cretaceous to the Paleogene, suggesting a probable connection with the Quiriquina Basin of south-central Chile during the latest Cretaceous. Finally, the studied assemblages indicate a latitudinal pattern of distribution that provides valuable data on the environmental evolution and temperature of southern South America during the Paleogene.

  20. Using Ichthyoliths to Determine the Fish Response to the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, E. C.; Norris, R. D.; Hull, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Ichthyoliths are the small calcium phosphate fossil teeth, scales, and bone shards of fish and sharks. While it is extremely rare to find full body-fossils of fish, ichthyoliths are relatively abundant in oceanic sediments, with 10s to 100s of identifiable ichthyoliths in a few grams of sediment, most in the <100 μm size fraction. Ichthyolith accumulation rates and morphology, alone or in conjunction with more traditional microfossil and geochemical proxies, can be used to study the response of pelagic consumers and ecosystems to major events in Earth's history. As the only available high-resolution, continuous fossil record of vertebrates, ichthyoliths can be extremely valuable in understanding how higher order organisms respond to environmental forcing. Here we use this novel proxy to show that export flux of ichthyoliths to the deep North Pacific was stable across the K-Pg boundary despite major changes in flux of calcareous phytoplankton and foraminifera. Total consumer-level export production in the North Pacific remained at or above Cretaceous levels for at least 4 million years post-extinction. Similar studies across the extinction from the South Pacific and the Atlantic suggest that there is considerable regional geographic variation in the accumulation of ichthyoliths spanning the boundary, with the Pacific small fish seeming to fare better than their Atlantic counterparts in the post-extinction ecosystem. The regional differences in productivity of these post-disaster ecosystems suggest that the mass extinction did not produce a uniformly dead or microbially dominated surface ocean. Rather, despite widespread extinction and upheaval in lower trophic levels, the earliest Paleocene ocean, in some regions of the planet, appears to have had ecosystems capable of supporting levels of fish comparable to or even above those of the Late Cretaceous.

  1. Origin and significance of lamination in Lower Cretaceous stromatolites and proposal for a quantitative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez-Gonzalez, Pablo; Quijada, I. Emma; Benito, M. Isabel; Mas, Ramón; Merinero, Raúl; Riding, Robert

    2014-03-01

    Stromatolite lamination is typically defined as alternation of dark and light laminae. Study of Lower Cretaceous stromatolites from the Leza Fm (N Spain) supports this statement, but recognises additional complexities in lamination that have implications for interpreting accretion processes. These stromatolites are partial analogues of present-day coarse-grained carbonate stromatolites in the Bahamas and Shark Bay (Australia) that mainly form by trapping and binding carbonate sand. The Leza examples contain both grain-rich and micrite-rich laminae with scarce particles, suggesting that they accreted both by trapping and not trapping grains. Lamination in modern and ancient coarse-grained stromatolites is commonly defined by thin micritic crusts that formed during interruptions in accretion and separate contiguous grainy laminae (repetitive lamination). Leza examples also contain these thin hiatal crusts and locally show repetitive lamination, but their conspicuous macroscopic lamination is defined by thicker alternating grain-rich and micrite-rich laminae (alternating lamination). This indicates that, although hiatuses in accretion occurred, change in accretion process was the main cause of macroscopic lamination. These differences in accretion processes and lamination styles between Leza examples and modern coarse-grained stromatolites may reflect differences in their environmental settings. Modern examples occur in shallow marine tidal environments, whereas Leza Fm coarse-grained stromatolites developed in tide-influenced water-bodies in coastal-wetlands that experienced fluctuations in water salinity and hydrochemistry. Analysis of lamina-thickness in these Cretaceous stromatolites and similar published examples provides a quantitative approach to the processes that underlie stromatolite lamination.

  2. Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godfrey, Stephen J.; Smith, Joshua B.

    2010-05-01

    Coprolites (fossilized feces) preserve a wide range of biogenic components, from bacteria and spores to a variety of vertebrate tissues. Two coprolites from the Calvert Cliffs outcrop belt (Miocene-aged Chesapeake Group), MD, USA, preserve shark tooth impressions in the form of partial dental arcades. The specimens are the first known coprolites to preserve vertebrate tooth marks. They provide another example of trace fossils providing evidence of prehistoric animal behaviors that cannot be directly approached through the study of body fossils. Shark behaviors that could account for these impressions include: (1) aborted coprophagy, (2) benthic or nektonic exploration, or (3) predation.

  3. Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Stephen J; Smith, Joshua B

    2010-05-01

    Coprolites (fossilized feces) preserve a wide range of biogenic components, from bacteria and spores to a variety of vertebrate tissues. Two coprolites from the Calvert Cliffs outcrop belt (Miocene-aged Chesapeake Group), MD, USA, preserve shark tooth impressions in the form of partial dental arcades. The specimens are the first known coprolites to preserve vertebrate tooth marks. They provide another example of trace fossils providing evidence of prehistoric animal behaviors that cannot be directly approached through the study of body fossils. Shark behaviors that could account for these impressions include: (1) aborted coprophagy, (2) benthic or nektonic exploration, or (3) predation. PMID:20213300

  4. The Species and Origin of Shark Fins in Taiwan's Fishing Ports, Markets, and Customs Detention: A DNA Barcoding Analysis.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Po-Shun; Hung, Tzu-Chiao; Chang, Hung-An; Huang, Chien-Kang; Shiao, Jen-Chieh

    2016-01-01

    The increasing consumption of shark products, along with the shark's fishing vulnerabilities, has led to the decrease in certain shark populations. In this study we used a DNA barcoding method to identify the species of shark landings at fishing ports, shark fin products in retail stores, and shark fins detained by Taiwan customs. In total we identified 23, 24, and 14 species from 231 fishing landings, 316 fin products, and 113 detained shark fins, respectively. All the three sample sources were dominated by Prionace glauca, which accounted for more than 30% of the collected samples. Over 60% of the species identified in the fin products also appeared in the port landings, suggesting the domestic-dominance of shark fin products in Taiwan. However, international trade also contributes a certain proportion of the fin product markets, as four species identified from the shark fin products are not found in Taiwan's waters, and some domestic-available species were also found in the customs-detained sample. In addition to the species identification, we also found geographical differentiation in the cox1 gene of the common thresher sharks (Alopias vulpinus), the pelagic thresher shark (A. pelagicus), the smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena), and the scalloped hammerhead shark (S. lewini). This result might allow fishing authorities to more effectively trace the origins as well as enforce the management and conservation of these sharks. PMID:26799827

  5. Preparation, anti-biofouling and drag-reduction properties of a biomimetic shark skin surface.

    PubMed

    Pu, Xia; Li, Guangji; Huang, Hanlu

    2016-01-01

    Shark skin surfaces show non-smoothness characteristics due to the presence of a riblet structure. In this study, biomimetic shark skin was prepared by using the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-embedded elastomeric stamping (PEES) method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to examine the surface microstructure and fine structure of shark skin and biomimetic shark skin. To analyse the hydrophobic mechanism of the shark skin surface microstructure, the effect of biomimetic shark skin surface microstructure on surface wettability was evaluated by recording water contact angle. Additionally, protein adhesion experiments and anti-algae adhesion performance testing experiments were used to investigate and evaluate the anti-biofouling properties of the surface microstructure of biomimetic shark skin. The recorded values of the water contact angle of differently microstructured surfaces revealed that specific microstructures have certain effects on surface wettability. The anti-biofouling properties of the biomimetic shark skin surface with microstructures were superior to a smooth surface using the same polymers as substrates. Moreover, the air layer fixed on the surface of the biomimetic shark skin was found to play a key role in their antibiont adhesion property. An experiment into drag reduction was also conducted. Based on the experimental results, the microstructured surface of the prepared biomimetic shark skin played a significant role in reducing drag. The maximum of drag reduction rate is 12.5%, which is higher than the corresponding maximum drag reduction rate of membrane material with a smooth surface. PMID:26941105

  6. Utility of mesohabitat features for determining habitat associations of subadult sharks in Georgia’s estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belcher, C.N.; Jennings, Cecil A.

    2010-01-01

    We examined the affects of selected water quality variables on the presence of subadult sharks in six of nine Georgia estuaries. During 231 longline sets, we captured 415 individuals representing nine species. Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terranovae), bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo), blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) and sandbar shark (C. plumbeus) comprised 96.1% of the catch. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) was used to assess environmental influences on the assemblage of the four common species. Results of the CCA indicated Bonnethead Shark and Sandbar Shark were correlated with each other and with a subset of environmental variables. When the species occurred singly, depth was the defining environmental variable; whereas, when the two co-occurred, dissolved oxygen and salinity were the defining variables. Discriminant analyses (DA) were used to assess environmental influences on individual species. Results of the discriminant analyses supported the general CCA findings that the presence of bonnethead and sandbar shark were the only two species that correlated with environmental variables. In addition to depth and dissolved oxygen, turbidity influenced the presence of sandbar shark. The presence of bonnethead shark was influenced primarily by salinity and turbidity. Significant relationships existed for both the CCA and DA analyses; however, environmental variables accounted for <16% of the total variation in each. Compared to the environmental variables we measured, macrohabitat features (e.g., substrate type), prey availability, and susceptibility to predation may have stronger influences on the presence and distribution of subadult shark species among sites.

  7. Preparation, anti-biofouling and drag-reduction properties of a biomimetic shark skin surface

    PubMed Central

    Pu, Xia; Li, Guangji; Huang, Hanlu

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Shark skin surfaces show non-smoothness characteristics due to the presence of a riblet structure. In this study, biomimetic shark skin was prepared by using the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-embedded elastomeric stamping (PEES) method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to examine the surface microstructure and fine structure of shark skin and biomimetic shark skin. To analyse the hydrophobic mechanism of the shark skin surface microstructure, the effect of biomimetic shark skin surface microstructure on surface wettability was evaluated by recording water contact angle. Additionally, protein adhesion experiments and anti-algae adhesion performance testing experiments were used to investigate and evaluate the anti-biofouling properties of the surface microstructure of biomimetic shark skin. The recorded values of the water contact angle of differently microstructured surfaces revealed that specific microstructures have certain effects on surface wettability. The anti-biofouling properties of the biomimetic shark skin surface with microstructures were superior to a smooth surface using the same polymers as substrates. Moreover, the air layer fixed on the surface of the biomimetic shark skin was found to play a key role in their antibiont adhesion property. An experiment into drag reduction was also conducted. Based on the experimental results, the microstructured surface of the prepared biomimetic shark skin played a significant role in reducing drag. The maximum of drag reduction rate is 12.5%, which is higher than the corresponding maximum drag reduction rate of membrane material with a smooth surface. PMID:26941105

  8. Big catch, little sharks: Insight into Peruvian small-scale longline fisheries.

    PubMed

    Doherty, Philip D; Alfaro-Shigueto, Joanna; Hodgson, David J; Mangel, Jeffrey C; Witt, Matthew J; Godley, Brendan J

    2014-06-01

    Shark take, driven by vast demand for meat and fins, is increasing. We set out to gain insights into the impact of small-scale longline fisheries in Peru. Onboard observers were used to document catch from 145 longline fishing trips (1668 fishing days) originating from Ilo, southern Peru. Fishing effort is divided into two seasons: targeting dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus; December to February) and sharks (March to November). A total of 16,610 sharks were observed caught, with 11,166 identified to species level. Of these, 70.6% were blue sharks (Prionace glauca), 28.4% short-fin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus), and 1% were other species (including thresher (Alopias vulpinus), hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena), porbeagle (Lamnus nasus), and other Carcharhinidae species (Carcharhinus brachyurus, Carcharhinus falciformis, Galeorhinus galeus). Mean ± SD catch per unit effort of 33.6 ± 10.9 sharks per 1000 hooks was calculated for the shark season and 1.9 ± 3.1 sharks per 1000 hooks were caught in the dolphinfish season. An average of 83.7% of sharks caught (74.7% blue sharks; 93.3% mako sharks) were deemed sexually immature and under the legal minimum landing size, which for species exhibiting k-selected life history traits can result in susceptibility to over exploitation. As these growing fisheries operate along the entire Peruvian coast and may catch millions of sharks per annum, we conclude that their continued expansion, along with ineffective legislative approaches resulting in removal of immature individuals, has the potential to threaten the sustainability of the fishery, its target species, and ecosystem. There is a need for additional monitoring and research to inform novel management strategies for sharks while maintaining fisher livelihoods. PMID:25360274

  9. Quantifying shark distribution patterns and species-habitat associations: implications of marine park zoning.

    PubMed

    Espinoza, Mario; Cappo, Mike; Heupel, Michelle R; Tobin, Andrew J; Simpfendorfer, Colin A

    2014-01-01

    Quantifying shark distribution patterns and species-specific habitat associations in response to geographic and environmental drivers is critical to assessing risk of exposure to fishing, habitat degradation, and the effects of climate change. The present study examined shark distribution patterns, species-habitat associations, and marine reserve use with baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS) along the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) over a ten year period. Overall, 21 species of sharks from five families and two orders were recorded. Grey reef Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, silvertip C. albimarginatus, tiger Galeocerdo cuvier, and sliteye Loxodon macrorhinus sharks were the most abundant species (>64% of shark abundances). Multivariate regression trees showed that hard coral cover produced the primary split separating shark assemblages. Four indicator species had consistently higher abundances and contributed to explaining most of the differences in shark assemblages: C. amblyrhynchos, C. albimarginatus, G. cuvier, and whitetip reef Triaenodon obesus sharks. Relative distance along the GBRMP had the greatest influence on shark occurrence and species richness, which increased at both ends of the sampling range (southern and northern sites) relative to intermediate latitudes. Hard coral cover and distance across the shelf were also important predictors of shark distribution. The relative abundance of sharks was significantly higher in non-fished sites, highlighting the conservation value and benefits of the GBRMP zoning. However, our results also showed that hard coral cover had a large effect on the abundance of reef-associated shark species, indicating that coral reef health may be important for the success of marine protected areas. Therefore, understanding shark distribution patterns, species-habitat associations, and the drivers responsible for those patterns is essential for developing sound management and conservation approaches. PMID

  10. Big catch, little sharks: Insight into Peruvian small-scale longline fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Doherty, Philip D; Alfaro-Shigueto, Joanna; Hodgson, David J; Mangel, Jeffrey C; Witt, Matthew J; Godley, Brendan J

    2014-01-01

    Shark take, driven by vast demand for meat and fins, is increasing. We set out to gain insights into the impact of small-scale longline fisheries in Peru. Onboard observers were used to document catch from 145 longline fishing trips (1668 fishing days) originating from Ilo, southern Peru. Fishing effort is divided into two seasons: targeting dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus; December to February) and sharks (March to November). A total of 16,610 sharks were observed caught, with 11,166 identified to species level. Of these, 70.6% were blue sharks (Prionace glauca), 28.4% short-fin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus), and 1% were other species (including thresher (Alopias vulpinus), hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena), porbeagle (Lamnus nasus), and other Carcharhinidae species (Carcharhinus brachyurus, Carcharhinus falciformis, Galeorhinus galeus). Mean ± SD catch per unit effort of 33.6 ± 10.9 sharks per 1000 hooks was calculated for the shark season and 1.9 ± 3.1 sharks per 1000 hooks were caught in the dolphinfish season. An average of 83.7% of sharks caught (74.7% blue sharks; 93.3% mako sharks) were deemed sexually immature and under the legal minimum landing size, which for species exhibiting k-selected life history traits can result in susceptibility to over exploitation. As these growing fisheries operate along the entire Peruvian coast and may catch millions of sharks per annum, we conclude that their continued expansion, along with ineffective legislative approaches resulting in removal of immature individuals, has the potential to threaten the sustainability of the fishery, its target species, and ecosystem. There is a need for additional monitoring and research to inform novel management strategies for sharks while maintaining fisher livelihoods. PMID:25360274

  11. Quantifying Shark Distribution Patterns and Species-Habitat Associations: Implications of Marine Park Zoning

    PubMed Central

    Espinoza, Mario; Cappo, Mike; Heupel, Michelle R.; Tobin, Andrew J.; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.

    2014-01-01

    Quantifying shark distribution patterns and species-specific habitat associations in response to geographic and environmental drivers is critical to assessing risk of exposure to fishing, habitat degradation, and the effects of climate change. The present study examined shark distribution patterns, species-habitat associations, and marine reserve use with baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS) along the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) over a ten year period. Overall, 21 species of sharks from five families and two orders were recorded. Grey reef Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, silvertip C. albimarginatus, tiger Galeocerdo cuvier, and sliteye Loxodon macrorhinus sharks were the most abundant species (>64% of shark abundances). Multivariate regression trees showed that hard coral cover produced the primary split separating shark assemblages. Four indicator species had consistently higher abundances and contributed to explaining most of the differences in shark assemblages: C. amblyrhynchos, C. albimarginatus, G. cuvier, and whitetip reef Triaenodon obesus sharks. Relative distance along the GBRMP had the greatest influence on shark occurrence and species richness, which increased at both ends of the sampling range (southern and northern sites) relative to intermediate latitudes. Hard coral cover and distance across the shelf were also important predictors of shark distribution. The relative abundance of sharks was significantly higher in non-fished sites, highlighting the conservation value and benefits of the GBRMP zoning. However, our results also showed that hard coral cover had a large effect on the abundance of reef-associated shark species, indicating that coral reef health may be important for the success of marine protected areas. Therefore, understanding shark distribution patterns, species-habitat associations, and the drivers responsible for those patterns is essential for developing sound management and conservation approaches. PMID

  12. Vertical Movement Patterns and Ontogenetic Niche Expansion in the Tiger Shark, Galeocerdo cuvier

    PubMed Central

    Afonso, André S.; Hazin, Fábio H. V.

    2015-01-01

    Sharks are top predators in many marine ecosystems and can impact community dynamics, yet many shark populations are undergoing severe declines primarily due to overfishing. Obtaining species-specific knowledge on shark spatial ecology is important to implement adequate management strategies for the effective conservation of these taxa. This is particularly relevant concerning highly-mobile species that use wide home ranges comprising coastal and oceanic habitats, such as tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier. We deployed satellite tags in 20 juvenile tiger sharks off northeastern Brazil to assess the effect of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on depth and temperature usage. Sharks were tracked for a total of 1184 d and used waters up to 1112 m in depth. The minimum temperature recorded equaled 4°C. All sharks had a clear preference for surface (< 5 m) waters but variability in depth usage was observed as some sharks used mostly shallow (< 60 m) waters whereas others made frequent incursions into greater depths. A diel behavioral shift was detected, with sharks spending considerably more time in surface (< 10 m) waters during the night. Moreover, a clear ontogenetic expansion in the vertical range of tiger shark habitat was observed, with generalized linear models estimating a ~4-fold increase in maximum diving depth from 150- to 300-cm size-classes. The time spent in the upper 5 m of the water column did not vary ontogenetically but shark size was the most important factor explaining the utilization of deeper water layers. Young-of-the-year tiger sharks seem to associate with shallow, neritic habitats but they progressively move into deeper oceanic habitats as they grow larger. Such an early plasticity in habitat use could endow tiger sharks with access to previously unavailable prey, thus contributing to a wider ecological niche. PMID:25629732

  13. Vertical movement patterns and ontogenetic niche expansion in the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier.

    PubMed

    Afonso, André S; Hazin, Fábio H V

    2015-01-01

    Sharks are top predators in many marine ecosystems and can impact community dynamics, yet many shark populations are undergoing severe declines primarily due to overfishing. Obtaining species-specific knowledge on shark spatial ecology is important to implement adequate management strategies for the effective conservation of these taxa. This is particularly relevant concerning highly-mobile species that use wide home ranges comprising coastal and oceanic habitats, such as tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier. We deployed satellite tags in 20 juvenile tiger sharks off northeastern Brazil to assess the effect of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on depth and temperature usage. Sharks were tracked for a total of 1184 d and used waters up to 1112 m in depth. The minimum temperature recorded equaled 4°C. All sharks had a clear preference for surface (< 5 m) waters but variability in depth usage was observed as some sharks used mostly shallow (< 60 m) waters whereas others made frequent incursions into greater depths. A diel behavioral shift was detected, with sharks spending considerably more time in surface (< 10 m) waters during the night. Moreover, a clear ontogenetic expansion in the vertical range of tiger shark habitat was observed, with generalized linear models estimating a ~4-fold increase in maximum diving depth from 150- to 300-cm size-classes. The time spent in the upper 5 m of the water column did not vary ontogenetically but shark size was the most important factor explaining the utilization of deeper water layers. Young-of-the-year tiger sharks seem to associate with shallow, neritic habitats but they progressively move into deeper oceanic habitats as they grow larger. Such an early plasticity in habitat use could endow tiger sharks with access to previously unavailable prey, thus contributing to a wider ecological niche. PMID:25629732

  14. Developmental origin of shark electrosensory organs.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Renata; Zhang, Guangjun; Albert, James S; Evans, David H; Cohn, Martin J

    2006-01-01

    Vertebrates have evolved electrosensory receptors that detect electrical stimuli on the surface of the skin and transmit them somatotopically to the brain. In chondrichthyans, the electrosensory system is composed of a cephalic network of ampullary organs, known as the ampullae of Lorenzini, that can detect extremely weak electric fields during hunting and navigation. Each ampullary organ consists of a gel-filled epidermal pit containing sensory hair cells, and synaptic connections with primary afferent neurons at the base of the pit that facilitate detection of voltage gradients over large regions of the body. The developmental origin of electroreceptors and the mechanisms that determine their spatial arrangement in the vertebrate head are not well understood. We have analyzed electroreceptor development in the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) and show that Sox8 and HNK1, two markers of the neural crest lineage, selectively mark sensory cells in ampullary organs. This represents the first evidence that the neural crest gives rise to electrosensory cells. We also show that pathfinding by cephalic mechanosensory and electrosensory axons follows the expression pattern of EphA4, a well-known guidance cue for axons and neural crest cells in osteichthyans. Expression of EphrinB2, which encodes a ligand for EphA4, marks the positions at which ampullary placodes are initiated in the epidermis, and EphA4 is expressed in surrounding mesenchyme. These results suggest that Eph-Ephrin signaling may establish an early molecular map for neural crest migration, axon guidance and placodal morphogenesis during development of the shark electrosensory system. PMID:16409384

  15. Loss of large predatory sharks from the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Ferretti, Francesco; Myers, Ransom A; Serena, Fabrizio; Lotze, Heike K

    2008-08-01

    Evidence for severe declines in large predatory fishes is increasing around the world. Because of its long history of intense fishing, the Mediterranean Sea offers a unique perspective on fish population declines over historical timescales. We used a diverse set of records dating back to the early 19th and mid 20th century to reconstruct long-term population trends of large predatory sharks in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. We compiled 9 time series of abundance indices from commercial and recreational fishery landings, scientific surveys, and sighting records. Generalized linear models were used to extract instantaneous rates of change from each data set, and a meta-analysis was conducted to compare population trends. Only 5 of the 20 species we considered had sufficient records for analysis. Hammerhead (Sphyrna spp.), blue (Prionace glauca), mackerel (Isurus oxyrinchus and Lamna nasus), and thresher sharks (Alopias vulpinus) declined between 96 and 99.99% relative to their former abundance. According to World Conservation Union (IUCN) criteria, these species would be considered critically endangered. So far, the lack of quantitative population assessments has impeded shark conservation in the Mediterranean Sea. Our study fills this critical information gap, suggesting that current levels of exploitation put large sharks at risk of extinction in the Mediterranean Sea. Possible ecosystem effects of these losses involve a disruption of top-down control and a release of midlevel consumers. PMID:18544092

  16. Ultrastructural organization and micromechanical properties of shark tooth enameloid.

    PubMed

    Enax, Joachim; Janus, Anna M; Raabe, Dierk; Epple, Matthias; Fabritius, Helge-Otto

    2014-09-01

    The outer part of shark teeth is formed by the hard and mineral-rich enameloid that has excellent mechanical properties, which makes it a very interesting model system for the development of new bio-inspired dental materials. We characterized the microstructure, chemical composition and resulting local mechanical properties of the enameloid from teeth of Isurus oxyrinchus (shortfin mako shark) by performing an in-depth analysis using various high-resolution analytical techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, qualitative energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and nanoindentation. Shark tooth enameloid reveals an intricate hierarchical arrangement of thin (50-80nm) and long (>1μm) crystallites of fluoroapatite with a high degree of structural anisotropy, which leads to exceptional mechanical properties. Both stiffness and hardness are surprisingly homogeneous in the shiny layer as well as in the enameloid: although both tooth phases differ in structure and composition, they show almost no orientation dependence with respect to the loading direction of the enameloid crystallites. The results were used to determine the structural hierarchy of shark teeth, which can be used as a base for establishing design criteria for synthetic bio-inspired and biomimetic dental composites. PMID:24797528

  17. Mechanical properties of the hyomandibula in four shark species.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Jordan P; Summers, Adam P; Wilga, Cheryl A

    2015-01-01

    Sharks have cartilaginous elements that support the jaws and are subjected to variable loads. The aim of this study was to understand how these elements, the hyomandibulae, respond to compressive loads, and to describe the structural level mechanical properties of mineralized cartilage. Mechanical stiffness and effective Poisson's ratio of the hyomandibular cartilage were measured in four species of sharks (white-spotted bamboo, Chiloscyllium plagiosum; spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias; sandbar, Carcharhinus plumbeus; and dusky smoothhound, Mustelus canis). The former two are suction feeders, while the latter two are bite feeders. The hyomandibulae of suction feeders were expected to be stiffer because of the increased loads on their hyomandibulae. Bamboo sharks, as the strongest suction feeders, have the stiffest hyomandibula with a stiffness of 106.12 MPa. The stiffness of spiny dogfish, sandbar sharks, and dusky smoothhounds were 41.58, 58.00, and 49.62 MPa, respectively. The proportion of the minerals found in the cross-section of the hyomandibula determines the elements stiffness. Effective Poisson's ratio was measured at low axial strains and was highly variable ranging from 2.3 × 10(-5) to 4.3 × 10(-1). This implies that the behavior of the hyomandibulae under load will be very different in different species. Furthermore, this wide range of values for the ratio has potential implications for modeling techniques, such as finite element modeling, which use Poisson's ratio as a fundamental input. PMID:25376603

  18. 77 FR 70551 - Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-26

    ... May 28, 1999, NMFS published in the Federal Register (64 FR 29090) final regulations, effective July 1... FMP). On October 2, 2006, NMFS published in the Federal Register (71 FR 58058) final regulations... determination that scalloped hammerhead sharks were overfished and experiencing overfishing (76 FR 23794)....

  19. Micro-computed tomography: an alternative method for shark ageing.

    PubMed

    Geraghty, P T; Jones, A S; Stewart, J; Macbeth, W G

    2012-04-01

    Micro-computed tomography (microCT) produced 3D reconstructions of shark Carcharhinus brevipinna vertebrae that could be virtually sectioned along any desired plane, and upon which growth bands were readily visible. When compared to manual sectioning, it proved to be a valid and repeatable means of ageing and offers several distinct advantages over other ageing methods. PMID:22497384

  20. Shark Skin Bristling as a Passive Mechanism for Separation Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheelus, Jennifer; Lang, Amy; Jones, Emily

    2011-11-01

    The skin of fast-swimming sharks is proposed to have mechanisms to reduce drag and delay flow separation. The skin of fast-swimming and agile sharks is covered with small teeth-like denticles on the order of 0.2 mm. The shortfin mako is one of the fastest and most agile ocean predators creating the need to minimize its pressure drag by controlling flow separation. Biological studies of the shortfin mako skin have shown the passive bristling angle of their denticles to exceed 50 degrees in areas on the flank corresponding to the locations likely to experience separation first. It is proposed that reversing flow, as occurs at the onset of separation in a turbulent boundary layer, would activate denticle bristling and hinder local separation from leading to global separation over the shark. This study focuses on the denticle reaction to various reversed flow conditions using a pulsating jet. Mako shark skin was subjected to numerous reversed flow velocities to determine the bristling onset velocity. Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (DPIV) and digital video were used to determine the flow conditions and denticle behavior. The effect of reversed flow velocity on denticle bristling and its relation to separation control will be discussed. Research funded by NSF (award 0932352).

  1. Antarctic jaws: cephalopod prey of sharks in Kerguelen waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherel, Yves; Duhamel, Guy

    2004-01-01

    Only five species of sharks have been recorded in the Southern Ocean, where their biology is essentially unknown. We investigated the feeding habits of the three commonest species from stomach content analysis of specimens taken as bycatches of the fishery targeting the Patagonian toothfish ( Dissostichus eleginoides) in upper slope waters of the Kerguelen Archipelago. The three species prey upon a diversity of fishes and cephalopods. They segregate by feeding on different species of squids of different sizes. The small lanternsharks ( Etmopterus cf. granulosus; 0.3 m on average) feed on small-sized Mastigoteuthis psychrophila, while the large porbeagles ( Lamna nasus; 1.9 m) feed on small-sized histioteuthids ( Histioteuthis atlantica and H. eltaninae) and on medium-sized juvenile ommastrephids of the genus Todarodes. Finally, the huge sleeper sharks ( Somniosus cf. microcephalus; 3.9 m) prey upon large-sized cephalopods ( Kondakovia longimana and Taningia danae) and giant squids ( Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni and Architeuthis dux). Thus sleeper shark is a fish with sperm whale-like feeding habits and, hence, the second top predator known to science to rely significantly on giant squids. Prey species and biology indicate that porbeagles are pelagic predators in the entire water column, while sleeper sharks are mainly benthic top predators and scavengers. The present study also underlines the diversity and biomass of the poorly known cephalopod fauna, including giant squids, occurring in outer shelf and upper slope waters surrounding subantarctic islands.

  2. Is extreme bite performance associated with extreme morphologies in sharks?

    PubMed

    Huber, Daniel R; Claes, Julien M; Mallefet, Jérôme; Herrel, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    As top predators in many oceanic communities, sharks are known to eat large prey and are supposedly able to generate high bite forces. This notion has, however, largely gone untested due to the experimental intractability of these animals. For those species that have been investigated, it remains unclear whether their high bite forces are simply a consequence of their large body size or the result of diet-related adaptation. As aquatic poikilotherms, sharks can grow very large, making them ideal subjects with which to investigate the effects of body size on bite force. Relative bite-force capacity is often associated with changes in head shape because taller or wider heads can, for example, accommodate larger jaw muscles. Constraints on bite force in general may also be released by changes in tooth shape. For example, more pointed teeth may allow a predator to penetrate prey more effectively than blunt, pavementlike teeth. Our analyses show that large sharks do not bite hard for their body size, but they generally have larger heads. Head width is the best predictor of bite force across the species included in our study as indicated by a multiple regression model. Contrary to our predictions, sharks with relatively high bite forces for their body size also have relatively more pointed teeth at the front of the tooth row. Moreover, species including hard prey in their diet are characterized by high bite forces and narrow and pointed teeth at the jaw symphysis. PMID:19006469

  3. Effects of endurance training in the leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata.

    PubMed

    Gruber, S J; Dickson, K A

    1997-01-01

    This study is the first to examine the effects of endurance training in an elasmobranch fish. Twenty-four leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) were divided randomly into three groups. Eight sharks were killed immediately, eight were forced to swim continuously for 6 wk against a current of 35 cm s-1 (60%-65% of maximal sustainable swimming speed), and eight were held for 6 wk in a tank without induced current. There were no changes due to training in maximal sustainable speed, oxygen consumption rates, percentage of the myotome composed of red and white muscle fibers, blood oxygen-carrying capacity, liver mass, liver lipid, glycogen, and protein concentrations, white muscle protein content, heart ventricle mass, or the specific activities of the enzymes citrate synthase, pyruvate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase in the heart ventricle. In red myotomal muscle, citrate synthase activity increased 17% as a result of training, but there was no change in muscle fiber diameter. The greatest effects occurred in white myotomal muscle, in which a 34% increase in fiber diameter and a 36% increase in the activities of citrate synthase and lactate dehydrogenase occurred as a result of training. The conditioned fish also had significantly higher growth rates. The observed effects within the myotomal muscle may reflect the higher growth rates of the trained leopard sharks, or they may be a specific response to the increased energetic demands of the training activity, indicating characteristics that limit swimming performance in leopard sharks. PMID:9237309

  4. Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach.

    PubMed

    Dove, Alistair D M; Leisen, Johannes; Zhou, Manshui; Byrne, Jonathan J; Lim-Hing, Krista; Webb, Harry D; Gelbaum, Leslie; Viant, Mark R; Kubanek, Julia; Fernández, Facundo M

    2012-01-01

    In a search for biomarkers of health in whale sharks and as exploration of metabolomics as a modern tool for understanding animal physiology, the metabolite composition of serum in six whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) from an aquarium collection was explored using (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry (MS). Principal components analysis (PCA) of spectral data showed that individual animals could be resolved based on the metabolite composition of their serum and that two unhealthy individuals could be discriminated from the remaining healthy animals. The major difference between healthy and unhealthy individuals was the concentration of homarine, here reported for the first time in an elasmobranch, which was present at substantially lower concentrations in unhealthy whale sharks, suggesting that this metabolite may be a useful biomarker of health status in this species. The function(s) of homarine in sharks remain uncertain but it likely plays a significant role as an osmolyte. The presence of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), another well-known protective osmolyte of elasmobranchs, at 0.1-0.3 mol L(-1) was also confirmed using both NMR and MS. Twenty-three additional potential biomarkers were identified based on significant differences in the frequency of their occurrence between samples from healthy and unhealthy animals, as detected by DART MS. Overall, NMR and MS provided complementary data that showed that metabolomics is a useful approach for biomarker prospecting in poorly studied species like elasmobranchs. PMID:23166652

  5. Fine-Scale Movements of the Broadnose Sevengill Shark and Its Main Prey, the Gummy Shark

    PubMed Central

    Barnett, Adam; Abrantes, Kátya G.; Stevens, John D.; Bruce, Barry D.; Semmens, Jayson M.

    2010-01-01

    Information on the fine-scale movement of predators and their prey is important to interpret foraging behaviours and activity patterns. An understanding of these behaviours will help determine predator-prey relationships and their effects on community dynamics. For instance understanding a predator's movement behaviour may alter pre determined expectations of prey behaviour, as almost any aspect of the prey's decisions from foraging to mating can be influenced by the risk of predation. Acoustic telemetry was used to study the fine-scale movement patterns of the Broadnose Sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus and its main prey, the Gummy shark Mustelus antarcticus, in a coastal bay of southeast Tasmania. Notorynchus cepedianus displayed distinct diel differences in activity patterns. During the day they stayed close to the substrate (sea floor) and were frequently inactive. At night, however, their swimming behaviour continually oscillated through the water column from the substrate to near surface. In contrast, M. antarcticus remained close to the substrate for the entire diel cycle, and showed similar movement patterns for day and night. For both species, the possibility that movement is related to foraging behaviour is discussed. For M. antarcticus, movement may possibly be linked to a diet of predominantly slow benthic prey. On several occasions, N. cepedianus carried out a sequence of burst speed events (increased rates of movement) that could be related to chasing prey. All burst speed events during the day were across the substrate, while at night these occurred in the water column. Overall, diel differences in water column use, along with the presence of oscillatory behaviour and burst speed events suggest that N. cepedianus are nocturnal foragers, but may opportunistically attack prey they happen to encounter during the day. PMID:21151925

  6. Fine-scale movements of the Broadnose Sevengill shark and its main prey, the Gummy shark.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Adam; Abrantes, Kátya G; Stevens, John D; Bruce, Barry D; Semmens, Jayson M

    2010-01-01

    Information on the fine-scale movement of predators and their prey is important to interpret foraging behaviours and activity patterns. An understanding of these behaviours will help determine predator-prey relationships and their effects on community dynamics. For instance understanding a predator's movement behaviour may alter pre determined expectations of prey behaviour, as almost any aspect of the prey's decisions from foraging to mating can be influenced by the risk of predation. Acoustic telemetry was used to study the fine-scale movement patterns of the Broadnose Sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus and its main prey, the Gummy shark Mustelus antarcticus, in a coastal bay of southeast Tasmania. Notorynchus cepedianus displayed distinct diel differences in activity patterns. During the day they stayed close to the substrate (sea floor) and were frequently inactive. At night, however, their swimming behaviour continually oscillated through the water column from the substrate to near surface. In contrast, M. antarcticus remained close to the substrate for the entire diel cycle, and showed similar movement patterns for day and night. For both species, the possibility that movement is related to foraging behaviour is discussed. For M. antarcticus, movement may possibly be linked to a diet of predominantly slow benthic prey. On several occasions, N. cepedianus carried out a sequence of burst speed events (increased rates of movement) that could be related to chasing prey. All burst speed events during the day were across the substrate, while at night these occurred in the water column. Overall, diel differences in water column use, along with the presence of oscillatory behaviour and burst speed events suggest that N. cepedianus are nocturnal foragers, but may opportunistically attack prey they happen to encounter during the day. PMID:21151925

  7. Detection of piRNAs in whitespotted bamboo shark liver.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lingrong; Ge, Yinghua; Cheng, Dandan; Nie, Zuoming; Lv, Zhengbing

    2016-09-15

    Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are 26 to 31-nt small non-coding RNAs that have been reported mostly in germ-line cells and cancer cells. However, the presence of piRNAs in the whitespotted bamboo shark liver has not yet been reported. In a previous study of microRNAs in shark liver, some piRNAs were detected from small RNAs sequenced by Solexa technology. A total of 4857 piRNAs were predicted and found in shark liver. We further selected 17 piRNAs with high and significantly differential expression between normal and regenerative liver tissues for subsequent verification by Northern blotting. Ten piRNAs were further identified, and six of these were matched to known piRNAs in piRNABank. The actual expression of six known and four novel piRNAs was validated by qRT-PCR. In addition, a total of 401 target genes of the 10 piRNAs were predicted by miRanda. Through GO and pathway function analyses, only five piRNAs could be annotated with eighteen GO annotations. The results indicated that the identified piRNAs are involved in many important biological responses, including immune inflammation, cell-specific differentiation and development, and angiogenesis. This manuscript provides the first identification of piRNAs in the liver of whitespotted bamboo shark using Solexa technology as well as further elucidation of the regulatory role of piRNAs in whitespotted bamboo shark liver. These findings may provide a useful resource and may facilitate the development of therapeutic strategies against liver damage. PMID:27267405

  8. DNA capture reveals transoceanic gene flow in endangered river sharks

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chenhong; Corrigan, Shannon; Yang, Lei; Straube, Nicolas; Harris, Mark; Hofreiter, Michael; White, William T.; Naylor, Gavin J. P.

    2015-01-01

    For over a hundred years, the “river sharks” of the genus Glyphis were only known from the type specimens of species that had been collected in the 19th century. They were widely considered extinct until populations of Glyphis-like sharks were rediscovered in remote regions of Borneo and Northern Australia at the end of the 20th century. However, the genetic affinities between the newly discovered Glyphis-like populations and the poorly preserved, original museum-type specimens have never been established. Here, we present the first (to our knowledge) fully resolved, complete phylogeny of Glyphis that includes both archival-type specimens and modern material. We used a sensitive DNA hybridization capture method to obtain complete mitochondrial genomes from all of our samples and show that three of the five described river shark species are probably conspecific and widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Furthermore we show that there has been recent gene flow between locations that are separated by large oceanic expanses. Our data strongly suggest marine dispersal in these species, overturning the widely held notion that river sharks are restricted to freshwater. It seems that species in the genus Glyphis are euryhaline with an ecology similar to the bull shark, in which adult individuals live in the ocean while the young grow up in river habitats with reduced predation pressure. Finally, we discovered a previously unidentified species within the genus Glyphis that is deeply divergent from all other lineages, underscoring the current lack of knowledge about the biodiversity and ecology of these mysterious sharks. PMID:26460025

  9. Comparative squamation of the lateral line canal pores in sharks.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, R W; Motta, P J; Rohr, J R

    2014-05-01

    The current study collected the first quantitative data on lateral line pore squamation patterns in sharks and assessed whether divergent squamation patterns are similar to experimental models that cause reduction in boundary layer turbulence. In addition, the hypothesis that divergent orientation angles are exclusively found in fast-swimming shark species was tested. The posterior lateral line and supraorbital lateral line pore squamation of the fast-swimming pelagic shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus and the slow-swimming epi-benthic spiny dogfish shark Squalus acanthias was examined. Pore scale morphology and pore coverage were qualitatively analysed and compared. In addition, pore squamation orientation patterns were quantified for four regions along the posterior lateral line and compared for both species. Isurus oxyrinchus possessed consistent pore scale coverage among sampled regions and had a divergent squamation pattern with multiple scale rows directed dorsally and ventrally away from the anterior margin of the pore with an average divergent angle of 13° for the first row of scales. Squalus acanthias possessed variable amounts of scale coverage among the sampled regions and had a divergent squamation pattern with multiple scale rows directed ventrally away from the anterior margin of the pore with an average angle of 19° for the first row of scales. Overall, the squamation pattern measured in I. oxyrinchus fell within the parameters used in the fluid flow analysis, which suggests that this pattern may reduce boundary layer turbulence and affect lateral line sensitivity. The exclusively ventral oriented scale pattern seen in S. acanthias possessed a high degree of divergence but the pattern did not match that of the fluid flow models. Given current knowledge, it is unclear how this would affect boundary layer flow. By studying the relationship between squamation patterns and the lateral line, new insights are provided into sensory biology that warrant

  10. Thermal dependence of contractile properties of the aerobic locomotor muscle in the leopard shark and shortfin mako shark.

    PubMed

    Donley, Jeanine M; Shadwick, Robert E; Sepulveda, Chugey A; Syme, Douglas A

    2007-04-01

    The work loop technique was used to examine contractile properties of the red aerobic locomotor muscle (RM) in the ectothermic leopard shark Triakis semifasciata and endothermic shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus. The effects of axial position and temperature on the twitch kinetics, and the stimulus duration and phase producing maximum net positive work and power output were investigated. Contractile performance was measured over the temperature range of 15 to 25 degrees C for Triakis and 15 to 28 degrees C for Isurus at cycle frequencies (analogous to tailbeat frequencies) ranging from 0.25 to 3 Hz using muscle bundles isolated from anterior (0.4 L where L is total body length) and posterior (0.6-0.65 L) axial positions. Pairwise comparisons of twitch times for anterior and posterior muscle samples indicated that there were no significant differences related to body position, except in mako sharks at unphysiologically cool temperatures (<20 degrees C). We found no significant differences in optimal stimulus duration, phase, net work or power output between anterior and posterior bundles in each species. With increasing cycle frequency the stimulus duration yielding maximum power decreased while optimal phase occurred earlier. The cycle frequency at which peak power was generated in leopard shark RM was only affected slightly by temperature, increasing from about 0.6 to 1.0 Hz between 15 and 25 degrees C. In contrast, mako RM showed a much more dramatic temperature sensitivity, with the peak power frequency rising from <0.25 to 2.25 Hz between 15 and 28 degrees C. These data support the hypothesis that the contractile properties of RM are functionally similar along the body in both species. In addition, our data identify a significant difference in the effect of temperature on net work and power output between these two shark species; at 15 degrees C muscle from the ectothermic leopard shark performs relatively well in comparison with mako, while at higher

  11. Migration of a Late Cretaceous fish.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Scott J; Erickson, J Mark; Holland, F D

    2003-05-01

    Late Cretaceous sediments from the Western Interior of North America yield exceptionally well preserved fossils that serve as proxies for the rapidly changing climate preceding the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (about 67-65 Myr ago). Here we reconstruct the ontogenetic history of a Maastrichtian-age fish, Vorhisia vulpes, by using the carbon, oxygen and strontium isotope ratios of four aragonite otoliths collected from the Fox Hills Formation of South Dakota. Individuals of V. vulpes spawned in brackish water (about 70-80% seawater) and during their first year migrated to open marine waters of the Western Interior Seaway, where they remained for 3 years before returning to the estuary, presumably to spawn and die. The mean delta(18)O from the marine growth phase of V. vulpes yields a seawater temperature of 18 degrees C, which is consistent with leaf physiognomy and general-circulation-model temperature estimates for the Western Interior during the latest Maastrichtian. PMID:12721626

  12. Mammalian hairs in Early Cretaceous amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain; Girard, Vincent; Azar, Dany; Néraudeau, Didier

    2010-07-01

    Two mammalian hairs have been found in association with an empty puparium in a ˜100-million-year-old amber (Early Cretaceous) from France. Although hair is known to be an ancestral, ubiquitous feature in the crown Mammalia, the structure of Mesozoic hair has never been described. In contrast to fur and hair of some Jurassic and Cretaceous mammals preserved as carbonized filaments, the exceptional preservation of the fossils described here allows for the study of the cuticular structure. Results show the oldest direct evidence of hair with a modern scale pattern. This discovery implies that the morphology of hair cuticula may have remained unchanged throughout most of mammalian evolution. The association of these hairs with a possible fly puparium provides paleoecological information and indicates peculiar taphonomic conditions.

  13. Shark Attacks in Dakar and the Cap Vert Peninsula, Senegal: Low Incidence despite High Occurrence of Potentially Dangerous Species

    PubMed Central

    Trape, Sébastien

    2008-01-01

    Background The International Shark Attack File mentions only four unprovoked shark attacks on the coast of West Africa during the period 1828–2004, an area where high concentrations of sharks and 17 species potentially dangerous to man have been observed. To investigate if the frequency of shark attacks could be really low and not just under-reported and whether there are potentially sharks that might attack in the area, a study was carried out in Dakar and the Cap Vert peninsula, Senegal. Methodology/Principal Findings Personnel of health facilities, administrative services, traditional authorities and groups of fishermen from the region of Dakar were interviewed about the occurrence of shark attacks, and visual censuses were conducted along the coastline to investigate shark communities associated with the coasts of Dakar and the Cap Vert peninsula. Six attacks were documented for the period 1947–2005, including two fatal ones attributed to the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvieri. All attacks concerned fishermen and only one occurred after 1970. Sharks were observed year round along the coastline in waters 3–15 m depth. Two species potentially dangerous for man, the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum and the blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus, represented together 94% of 1,071 sharks enumerated during 1,459 hours of observations. Threatening behaviour from sharks was noted in 12 encounters (1.1%), including 8 encounters with C. limbatus, one with Galeocerdo cuvieri and 3 with unidentified sharks. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that the frequency of shark attacks on the coast of West Africa is underestimated. However, they also indicate that the risk is very low despite the abundance of sharks. In Dakar area, most encounters along the coastline with potentially dangerous species do not result in an attack. Compared to other causes of water related deaths, the incidence of shark attack appears negligible, at least one thousand fold lower. PMID

  14. The cretaceous opening of the Northeast Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanisch, J.

    1984-01-01

    A continuous rift system from the Rockall Trough through the Faeroe-Shetland Channel, and the Møre and Vøring basins up to the Tromsø and Bear Island basins is inferred to have developed during the Cretaceous. Oceanic crust was generated in its southern part but its width presumably decreases toward the northeast and probably ends in the Møre Basin. This rift/spreading system requires a clockwise rotation of Greenland and the Rockall Plateau during the Cretaceous around a rotation pole at its northern end at about 74°N 21°E. North of the pole of rotation crustal shortening must have occurred. This compression is interpreted to have taken place on West Spitsbergen. The orogeny there is reinterpreted as (1) a Cretaceous folding phase, (2) a phase of overthrusting at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, and (3) an extensional faulting phase during the Oligocene. This plate-tectonic model can resolve a series of problems in the Northeast Atlantic region: the connection of the Caledonian fronts of Scotland and Greenland can be easily established. The northern ends of the West Shetland Basin and the North Sea graben; the unusual depth of the Møre and Vøring basins; the marked obliqueness of structural trends between the Northeast Greenland shelf and the Norwegian shelf; the fact that the western Hammerfest Basin was intersected by a younger north-south trending graben which formed the deep Tromsø Basin—all these enigmatic observations can be explained by the Cretaceous rift system.

  15. Growth and Maximum Size of Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in Hawaii

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Carl G.; O'Malley, Joseph M.; Papastamatiou, Yannis P.; Dale, Jonathan J.; Hutchinson, Melanie R.; Anderson, James M.; Royer, Mark A.; Holland, Kim N.

    2014-01-01

    Tiger sharks (Galecerdo cuvier) are apex predators characterized by their broad diet, large size and rapid growth. Tiger shark maximum size is typically between 380 & 450 cm Total Length (TL), with a few individuals reaching 550 cm TL, but the maximum size of tiger sharks in Hawaii waters remains uncertain. A previous study suggested tiger sharks grow rather slowly in Hawaii compared to other regions, but this may have been an artifact of the method used to estimate growth (unvalidated vertebral ring counts) compounded by small sample size and narrow size range. Since 1993, the University of Hawaii has conducted a research program aimed at elucidating tiger shark biology, and to date 420 tiger sharks have been tagged and 50 recaptured. All recaptures were from Hawaii except a single shark recaptured off Isla Jacques Cousteau (24°13′17″N 109°52′14″W), in the southern Gulf of California (minimum distance between tag and recapture sites  =  approximately 5,000 km), after 366 days at liberty (DAL). We used these empirical mark-recapture data to estimate growth rates and maximum size for tiger sharks in Hawaii. We found that tiger sharks in Hawaii grow twice as fast as previously thought, on average reaching 340 cm TL by age 5, and attaining a maximum size of 403 cm TL. Our model indicates the fastest growing individuals attain 400 cm TL by age 5, and the largest reach a maximum size of 444 cm TL. The largest shark captured during our study was 464 cm TL but individuals >450 cm TL were extremely rare (0.005% of sharks captured). We conclude that tiger shark growth rates and maximum sizes in Hawaii are generally consistent with those in other regions, and hypothesize that a broad diet may help them to achieve this rapid growth by maximizing prey consumption rates. PMID:24416287

  16. Growth and maximum size of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Carl G; O'Malley, Joseph M; Papastamatiou, Yannis P; Dale, Jonathan J; Hutchinson, Melanie R; Anderson, James M; Royer, Mark A; Holland, Kim N

    2014-01-01

    Tiger sharks (Galecerdo cuvier) are apex predators characterized by their broad diet, large size and rapid growth. Tiger shark maximum size is typically between 380 & 450 cm Total Length (TL), with a few individuals reaching 550 cm TL, but the maximum size of tiger sharks in Hawaii waters remains uncertain. A previous study suggested tiger sharks grow rather slowly in Hawaii compared to other regions, but this may have been an artifact of the method used to estimate growth (unvalidated vertebral ring counts) compounded by small sample size and narrow size range. Since 1993, the University of Hawaii has conducted a research program aimed at elucidating tiger shark biology, and to date 420 tiger sharks have been tagged and 50 recaptured. All recaptures were from Hawaii except a single shark recaptured off Isla Jacques Cousteau (24°13'17″N 109°52'14″W), in the southern Gulf of California (minimum distance between tag and recapture sites  =  approximately 5,000 km), after 366 days at liberty (DAL). We used these empirical mark-recapture data to estimate growth rates and maximum size for tiger sharks in Hawaii. We found that tiger sharks in Hawaii grow twice as fast as previously thought, on average reaching 340 cm TL by age 5, and attaining a maximum size of 403 cm TL. Our model indicates the fastest growing individuals attain 400 cm TL by age 5, and the largest reach a maximum size of 444 cm TL. The largest shark captured during our study was 464 cm TL but individuals >450 cm TL were extremely rare (0.005% of sharks captured). We conclude that tiger shark growth rates and maximum sizes in Hawaii are generally consistent with those in other regions, and hypothesize that a broad diet may help them to achieve this rapid growth by maximizing prey consumption rates. PMID:24416287

  17. Cretaceous biostratigraphy in the Wyoming thrust belt.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, D.J.; Jacobson, S.R.

    1982-01-01

    In the Cretaceous section of the thrust belt, fossils are especially useful for dating and correlating repetitive facies of different ages in structurally complex terrain. The biostratigraphic zonation for the region is based on megafossils (chiefly ammonites) , which permit accurate dating and correlation of outcrop sections, and which have been calibrated with the radiometric time scale for the Western Interior. Molluscan and vertebrate zone fossils are difficult to obtain from the subsurface, however, and ammonites are restricted to rocks of marine origin. Palynomorphs (plant microfossils) have proven to be the most valuable fossils in the subsurface because they can be recovered from drill cuttings. Palynomorphs also are found in both marine and nonmarine rocks and can be used for correlation between facies. Stratigraphic ranges of selected Cretaceous marine and nonmarine palynomorphs in previously designated reference sections in Fossil Basin, Wyoming are correlated with the occurrence of ammonites and other zone fossils in the same sections. These correlations can be related to known isotopic ages, and they contribute to the calibration of palynomorph ranges in the Cretaceous of the Western Interior. -from Authors

  18. Structure and Dynamics of the Shark Assemblage off Recife, Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Afonso, André S.; Andrade, Humber A.; Hazin, Fábio H. V.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the ecological factors that regulate elasmobranch abundance in nearshore waters is essential to effectively manage coastal ecosystems and promote conservation. However, little is known about elasmobranch populations in the western South Atlantic Ocean. An 8-year, standardized longline and drumline survey conducted in nearshore waters off Recife, northeastern Brazil, allowed us to describe the shark assemblage and to monitor abundance dynamics using zero-inflated generalized additive models. This region is mostly used by several carcharhinids and one ginglymostomid, but sphyrnids are also present. Blacknose sharks, Carcharhinus acronotus, were mostly mature individuals and declined in abundance throughout the survey, contrasting with nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum, which proliferated possibly due to this species being prohibited from all harvest since 2004 in this region. Tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, were mostly juveniles smaller than 200 cm and seem to use nearshore waters off Recife between January and September. No long-term trend in tiger shark abundance was discernible. Spatial distribution was similar in true coastal species (i.e. blacknose and nurse sharks) whereas tiger sharks were most abundant at the middle continental shelf. The sea surface temperature, tidal amplitude, wind direction, water turbidity, and pluviosity were all selected to predict shark abundance off Recife. Interspecific variability in abundance dynamics across spatiotemporal and environmental gradients suggest that the ecological processes regulating shark abundance are generally independent between species, which could add complexity to multi-species fisheries management frameworks. Yet, further research is warranted to ascertain trends at population levels in the South Atlantic Ocean. PMID:25010514

  19. Structure and dynamics of the shark assemblage off Recife, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Afonso, André S; Andrade, Humber A; Hazin, Fábio H V

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the ecological factors that regulate elasmobranch abundance in nearshore waters is essential to effectively manage coastal ecosystems and promote conservation. However, little is known about elasmobranch populations in the western South Atlantic Ocean. An 8-year, standardized longline and drumline survey conducted in nearshore waters off Recife, northeastern Brazil, allowed us to describe the shark assemblage and to monitor abundance dynamics using zero-inflated generalized additive models. This region is mostly used by several carcharhinids and one ginglymostomid, but sphyrnids are also present. Blacknose sharks, Carcharhinus acronotus, were mostly mature individuals and declined in abundance throughout the survey, contrasting with nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum, which proliferated possibly due to this species being prohibited from all harvest since 2004 in this region. Tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, were mostly juveniles smaller than 200 cm and seem to use nearshore waters off Recife between January and September. No long-term trend in tiger shark abundance was discernible. Spatial distribution was similar in true coastal species (i.e. blacknose and nurse sharks) whereas tiger sharks were most abundant at the middle continental shelf. The sea surface temperature, tidal amplitude, wind direction, water turbidity, and pluviosity were all selected to predict shark abundance off Recife. Interspecific variability in abundance dynamics across spatiotemporal and environmental gradients suggest that the ecological processes regulating shark abundance are generally independent between species, which could add complexity to multi-species fisheries management frameworks. Yet, further research is warranted to ascertain trends at population levels in the South Atlantic Ocean. PMID:25010514

  20. Acoustic telemetry validates a citizen science approach for monitoring sharks on coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Vianna, Gabriel M S; Meekan, Mark G; Bornovski, Tova H; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2014-01-01

    Citizen science is promoted as a simple and cost-effective alternative to traditional approaches for the monitoring of populations of marine megafauna. However, the reliability of datasets collected by these initiatives often remains poorly quantified. We compared datasets of shark counts collected by professional dive guides with acoustic telemetry data from tagged sharks collected at the same coral reef sites over a period of five years. There was a strong correlation between the number of grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) observed by dive guides and the telemetry data at both daily and monthly intervals, suggesting that variation in relative abundance of sharks was detectable in datasets collected by dive guides in a similar manner to data derived from telemetry at these time scales. There was no correlation between the number or mean depth of sharks recorded by telemetry and the presence of tourist divers, suggesting that the behaviour of sharks was not affected by the presence of divers during our study. Data recorded by dive guides showed that current strength and temperature were important drivers of the relative abundance of sharks at monitored sites. Our study validates the use of datasets of shark abundance collected by professional dive guides in frequently-visited dive sites in Palau, and supports the participation of experienced recreational divers as contributors to long-term monitoring programs of shark populations. PMID:24760081

  1. Plastic debris collars on juvenile carcharhinid sharks (Rhizoprionodon lalandii) in southwest Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Sazima, Ivan; Gadig, Otto B F; Namora, Rafael C; Motta, Fábio S

    2002-10-01

    Three juvenile Brazilian sharpnose sharks (Rhizoprionodon lalandii) caught in gillnets in southeast Brazil, southwest Atlantic, were found with plastic debris rings around their gill or mouth region. The rings caused severe abrasion on the sharks' tissues as the animal grew, the collars probably hampering normal feeding and/or ventilation since two of the collared individuals were emaciated. The rings were identified as detachable lid parts from plastic bottles, likely thrown overboard by fishery and/or recreation boats. As several carcharhinid shark species dwells and reproduce in shallow waters, the impact of discarded plastic debris likely is greater on this shark type. PMID:12474977

  2. A comparative echocardiographic assessment of ventricular function in five species of sharks.

    PubMed

    Chin Lai, N; Dalton, Nancy; Lai, Yin Yin; Kwong, Christopher; Rasmussen, Randy; Holts, David; Graham, Jeffrey B

    2004-03-01

    A comparative echocardiographic study was carried out on five shark species that differ in heart morphology and in aspects of their behavior and natural history. The study contrasted the ventricular function in the highly active mako shark (heart type IV) and four other sharks (heart type III) that differ in activity levels (i.e. the sedentary horn and swell sharks vs. the moderately active blue and smooth-hound sharks). All five species exhibited biphasic ventricular filling characterized by an early (conduit) and late (atrial systole) phase. In the mako shark, early filling was dominant as indicated by a higher early flow peak velocity, a greater early:late velocity ratio, and a greater early velocity time integral. In contrast, the late filling phase was the more important filling agent in the other species. Indices of systolic function such as ventricular ejection fraction and ventricular fractional shortening also reflect a more efficient cardiac pumping capacity in mako shark relative to the other four sharks. The comparative echocardiographic assessment of in vivo ventricular function integrates structural and functional features with shark activity level to arrive at a new perspective blending the occurrence of biphasic filling with functional concepts based on heart morphological typology and changing views regarding the role of factors such as central filling pressure and pericardial pressure on end-diastolic ventricular volume. PMID:15123188

  3. Acoustic Telemetry Validates a Citizen Science Approach for Monitoring Sharks on Coral Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Vianna, Gabriel M. S.; Meekan, Mark G.; Bornovski, Tova H.; Meeuwig, Jessica J.

    2014-01-01

    Citizen science is promoted as a simple and cost-effective alternative to traditional approaches for the monitoring of populations of marine megafauna. However, the reliability of datasets collected by these initiatives often remains poorly quantified. We compared datasets of shark counts collected by professional dive guides with acoustic telemetry data from tagged sharks collected at the same coral reef sites over a period of five years. There was a strong correlation between the number of grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) observed by dive guides and the telemetry data at both daily and monthly intervals, suggesting that variation in relative abundance of sharks was detectable in datasets collected by dive guides in a similar manner to data derived from telemetry at these time scales. There was no correlation between the number or mean depth of sharks recorded by telemetry and the presence of tourist divers, suggesting that the behaviour of sharks was not affected by the presence of divers during our study. Data recorded by dive guides showed that current strength and temperature were important drivers of the relative abundance of sharks at monitored sites. Our study validates the use of datasets of shark abundance collected by professional dive guides in frequently-visited dive sites in Palau, and supports the participation of experienced recreational divers as contributors to long-term monitoring programs of shark populations. PMID:24760081

  4. Synthetic surfactants: a new approach to the development of shark repellents.

    PubMed

    Zlotkin, E; Gruber, S H

    1984-11-01

    The toxic and shark repellent secretion of Pardachirus marmoratus (PMC) and a series of 15 surfactants and industrial detergents were assayed for their lethality to fish, termination of shark's tonic immobility and feeding inhibition of aggressive, hungry lemon sharks. Sodium and lithium lauryl sulfate salts were more potent than PMC in all three bioassays. Graduated activity, from mildly repellent to inactive, was demonstrated by several other surfactants. The abundance, versatility, chemical stability, modifiability, and low price of detergents justify their use in further development of effective shark repellents. PMID:6517714

  5. An Astronomical Pattern-Matching Algorithm for Automated Identification of Whale Sharks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arzoumanian, Z.; Holmberg, J.; Norman, B.

    2005-01-01

    The largest shark species alive today, whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are rare and poorly studied. Directed fisheries, high value in international trade, a highly migratory nature, and generally low abundance make this species vulnerable to exploitation. Mark- and-recapture studies have provided our current understanding of whale shark demographics and life history, but conventional tagging has met with limited success. To aid in conservation and management efforts, and to further our knowledge of whale shark biology, an identification technology that maximizes the scientific value of individual sighting is needed.

  6. Australian and U.S. news media portrayal of sharks and their conservation.

    PubMed

    Muter, Bret A; Gore, Meredith L; Gledhill, Katie S; Lamont, Christopher; Huveneers, Charlie

    2013-02-01

    Investigation of the social framing of human-shark interactions may provide useful strategies for integrating social, biological, and ecological knowledge into national and international policy discussions about shark conservation. One way to investigate social opinion and forces related to sharks and their conservation is through the media's coverage of sharks. We conducted a content analysis of 300 shark-related articles published in 20 major Australian and U.S. newspapers from 2000 to 2010. Shark attacks were the emphasis of over half the articles analyzed, and shark conservation was the primary topic of 11% of articles. Significantly more Australian articles than U.S. articles treated shark attacks (χ(2) = 3.862; Australian 58% vs. U.S. 47%) and shark conservation issues (χ(2) = 6.856; Australian 15% vs. U.S. 11%) as the primary article topic and used politicians as the primary risk messenger (i.e., primary person or authority sourced in the article) (χ(2) = 7.493; Australian 8% vs. U.S. 1%). However, significantly more U.S. articles than Australian articles discussed sharks as entertainment (e.g., subjects in movies, books, and television; χ(2) = 15.130; U.S. 6% vs. Australian 1%) and used scientists as the primary risk messenger (χ(2) = 5.333; U.S. 25% vs. Australian 15%). Despite evidence that many shark species are at risk of extinction, we found that most media coverage emphasized the risks sharks pose to people. To the extent that media reflects social opinion, our results highlight problems for shark conservation. We suggest that conservation professionals purposefully and frequently engage with the media to highlight the rarity of shark attacks, discuss preventative measures water users can take to reduce their vulnerability to shark encounters, and discuss conservation issues related to local and threatened species of sharks. When integrated with biological and ecological data, social-science data may help generate a more comprehensive perspective

  7. Widespread utility of highly informative AFLP molecular markers across divergent shark species.

    PubMed

    Zenger, Kyall R; Stow, Adam J; Peddemors, Victor; Briscoe, David A; Harcourt, Robert G

    2006-01-01

    Population numbers of many shark species are declining rapidly around the world. Despite the commercial and conservation significance, little is known on even the most fundamental aspects of their population biology. Data collection that relies on direct observation can be logistically challenging with sharks. Consequently, molecular methods are becoming increasingly important to obtain knowledge that is critical for conservation and management. Here we describe an amplified fragment length polymorphism method that can be applied universally to sharks to identify highly informative genome-wide polymorphisms from 12 primer pairs. We demonstrate the value of our method on 15 divergent shark species within the superorder Galeomorphii, including endangered species which are notorious for low levels of genetic diversity. Both the endangered sand tiger shark (Carcharodon taurus, N = 18) and the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias, N = 7) displayed relatively high levels of allelic diversity. A total of 59 polymorphic loci (H(e) = 0.373) and 78 polymorphic loci (H(e) = 0.316) were resolved in C. taurus and C. carcharias, respectively. Results from other sharks (e.g., Orectolobus ornatus, Orectolobus sp., and Galeocerdo cuvier) produced remarkably high numbers of polymorphic loci (106, 94, and 86, respectively) from a limited sample size of only 2. A major constraint to obtaining much needed genetic data from sharks is the time-consuming process of developing molecular markers. Here we demonstrate the general utility of a technique that provides large numbers of informative loci in sharks. PMID:17150982

  8. Significance of Tocopherols during Cretaceous Oae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brassell, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Most biomarker studies of Cretaceous OAE have tended to focus on investigations of hydrocarbon constituents, which means that evidence of environmental conditions contained in the distributions and abundance of more polar components has rarely been utilized with the notable exception of GDGTs as paleotemperature proxies. One group of functionalized lipids, tocopherols, fulfills various critical functions in plants and bacteria, including optimization of photosynthetic activity and macronutrient homeostasis in cyanobacteria. These compounds are often prevalent constituents of immature Cretaceous sediments rich in organic matter (OM) in those instances where analytical protocols have assessed their presence. They occur in Cenomanian-Turonian (OAE2), early Aptian (OAE1a), Valanginian, and other Cretaceous sediments, and their concentrations can exceed 2-5 mg/g dry sediment. One possible explanation for the abundance of tocopherols is that environmental conditions prevailing during OAE led to enhanced biochemical production of these components by phytoplankton, given their key biophysiochemical role of protecting lipids and membranes against oxidative stress. High concentrations of tocopherols (>250 mg/g dry weight) have been reported in haptophytes and marine green algae, and their production in cyanobacteria increases under high light intensity. Hence, environmental conditions during Cretaceous OAE may have been conducive to production of copious amounts of tocopherols by phytoplankton in response to environment stresses. Previous work in contemporary systems has suggested that the propensity of tocopherols to autooxidation would make their survival in sediments unlikely. However, this scenario and interpretation is clearly not applicable during Cretaceous episodes of enhanced OM sequestration and/or dysoxia. Since tocopherols serve to protect plant cells from oxidative damage it seems plausible that they might fulfill a similar function in settling, particulate, and

  9. Cretaceous gastropods: contrasts between tethys and the temperate provinces.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohl, N.F.

    1987-01-01

    During the Cretaceous Period, gastropod faunas show considerable differences in their evolution between the Tethyan Realm (tropical) and the Temperate Realms to the north and south. Like Holocene faunas, prosobranch, gastropods constitute the dominant part of Cretaceous marine snail faunas. Entomotaeneata and opisthobranchs usually form all of the remainder. In Tethyan faunas the Archaeogastropoda form a consistent high proportion of total taxa but less than the Mesogastropoda throughout the period. In contrast, the Temperate faunas beginning in Albian times show a decline in percentages of archaeogastropod taxa and a significant increase in the Neogastropoda, until they constitute over 50 percent of the taxa in some faunas. The neogastropods never attain high diversity in the Cretaceous of the Tethyan Realm and are judged to be of Temperate Realm origin. Cretaceous Tethyan gastropod faunas are closely allied to those of the 'corallien facies' of the Jurassic and begin the period evolutionarily mature and well diversified. Three categories of Tethyan gastropods are analyzed. The first group consists of those of Jurassic ancestry. The second group orginates mainly during the Barremian and Aptian, reaches a climax in diversification during middle Cretaceous time, and usually declines during the latest Cretaceous. The third group originates late in the Cretaceous and consists of taxa that manage to either survive the Cretaceous-Tertiary crisis or give rise to forms of prominence among Tertiary warm water faunas. Temperate Realm gastropod faunas are less diverse than those of Tethys during the Early Cretaceous. They show a steady increase in diversity, primarily among the Mesogastropoda and Neogastropoda. This trend culminates in latest Cretaceous times when the gastropod assemblages of the clastic provinces of the inner shelf contain an abundance of taxa outstripping that of any other part of the Cretaceous of either realm. Extinction at the Cretaceous

  10. Mitochondrial proton leak rates in the slow, oxidative myotomal muscle and liver of the endothermic shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) and the ectothermic blue shark (Prionace glauca) and leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata).

    PubMed

    Duong, Cindy A; Sepulveda, Chugey A; Graham, Jeffrey B; Dickson, Kathryn A

    2006-07-01

    Mitochondrial proton leak was assessed as a potential heat source in the slow, oxidative (red) locomotor muscle and liver of the shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), a regional endotherm that maintains the temperature of both tissues elevated above ambient seawater temperature. We hypothesized that basal proton leak rates in red muscle and liver mitochondria of the endothermic shortfin mako shark would be greater than those of the ectothermic blue shark (Prionace glauca) and leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata). Respiration rate and membrane potential in isolated mitochondria were measured simultaneously at 20 degrees C using a Clark-type oxygen electrode and a lipophilic probe (triphenylmethylphosphonium, TPMP(+)). Succinate-stimulated respiration was titrated with inhibitors of the electron transport chain, and the non-linear relationship between respiration rate and membrane potential was quantified. Mitochondrial densities of both tissues were measured by applying the point-contact method to electron micrographs so that proton leak activity of the entire tissue could be assessed. In all three shark species, proton leak occurred at a higher rate in red muscle mitochondria than in liver mitochondria. For each tissue, the proton leak curves of the three species overlapped and, at a membrane potential of 160 mV, mitochondrial proton leak rate (nmol H(+) min(-1) mg(-1) protein) did not differ significantly between the endothermic and ectothermic sharks. This finding indicates that red muscle and liver mitochondria of the shortfin mako shark are not specialized for thermogenesis by having a higher proton conductance. However, mako mitochondria did have higher succinate-stimulated respiration rates and membrane potentials than those of the two ectothermic sharks. This means that under in vivo conditions mitochondrial proton leak rates may be higher in the mako than in the ectothermic species, due to greater electron transport activity and a larger proton gradient

  11. Cretaceous stratigraphic sequences of north-central California suggest a discontinuity in the Late Cretaceous forearc basin

    SciTech Connect

    Haggart, J.W.

    1986-10-01

    The Cretaceous sedimentary succession preserved east of Redding, at the northern end of California's Great Valley, indicates that marine deposition was widespread in the region for only two periods during the Late Cretaceous. If it is assumed that there was minimal Cenozoic offset between the northern Sierra Nevada and eastern Klamath Mountains terranes, Cretaceous sedimentation in this region was most likely restricted to a narrow trough and was not a continuation of the wide, Cretaceous forearc basin of central California. The dissimilar depositional histories of the Redding basin and the Hornbrook basin of north-central California suggest that the basins were not linked continuously during the Late Cretaceous. A thick section of Cretaceous strata beneath the southwestern Modoc Plateau is considered unlikely.

  12. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the world's largest fish, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), and its comparison with those of related shark species.

    PubMed

    Alam, Md Tauqeer; Petit, Robert A; Read, Timothy D; Dove, Alistair D M

    2014-04-10

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest extant species of fish, belonging to the order Orectolobiformes. It is listed as a "vulnerable" species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List of Threatened Species, which makes it an important species for conservation efforts. We report here the first complete sequence of the mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the whale shark obtained by next-generation sequencing methods. The assembled mitogenome is a 16,875 bp circle, comprising of 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and a control region. We also performed comparative analysis of the whale shark mitogenome to the available mitogenome sequences of 17 other shark species, four from the order Orectolobiformes, five from Lamniformes and eight from Carcharhiniformes. The nucleotide composition, number and arrangement of the genes in whale shark mitogenome are the same as found in the mitogenomes of the other members of the order Orectolobiformes and its closest orders Lamniformes and Carcharhiniformes, although the whale shark mitogenome had a slightly longer control region. The availability of mitogenome sequence of whale shark will aid studies of molecular systematics, biogeography, genetic differentiation, and conservation genetics in this species. PMID:24508271

  13. Impacts of food web structure and feeding behavior on mercury exposure in Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus).

    PubMed

    McMeans, Bailey C; Arts, Michael T; Fisk, Aaron T

    2015-03-15

    Benthic and pelagic food web components in Cumberland Sound, Canada were explored as sources of total mercury (THg) to Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) via both bottom-up food web transfer and top-down shark feeding behavior. Log10THg increased significantly with δ(15)N and trophic position from invertebrates (0.01 ± 0.01 μg · g(-1) [113 ± 1 ng · g(-1)] dw in copepods) to Greenland Sharks (3.54 ± 1.02 μg · g(-1)). The slope of the log10THg vs. δ(15)N linear regression was higher for pelagic compared to benthic food web components (excluding Greenland Sharks, which could not be assigned to either food web), which resulted from THg concentrations being higher at the base of the benthic food web (i.e., in benthic than pelagic primary consumers). However, feeding habitat is unlikely to consistently influence shark THg exposure in Cumberland Sound because THg concentrations did not consistently differ between benthic and pelagic shark prey. Further, size, gender and feeding behavior (inferred from stable isotopes and fatty acids) were unable to significantly explain THg variability among individual Greenland Sharks. Possible reasons for this result include: 1) individual sharks feeding as generalists, 2) high overlap in THg among shark prey, and 3) differences in turnover time between ecological tracers and THg. This first assessment of Greenland Shark THg within an Arctic food web revealed high concentrations consistent with biomagnification, but low ability to explain intra-specific THg variability. Our findings of high THg levels and consumption of multiple prey types, however, suggest that Greenland Sharks acquire THg through a variety of trophic pathways and are a significant contributor to the total biotic THg pool in northern seas. PMID:24630590

  14. Environmental neurotoxins β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) and mercury in shark cartilage dietary supplements.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Kiyo; Broc Glover, W; Murch, Susan J; Liu, Guangliang; Cai, Yong; Davis, David A; Mash, Deborah C

    2014-08-01

    Shark cartilage products are marketed as dietary supplements with claimed health benefits for animal and human use. Shark fin and cartilage products sold as extracts, dry powders and in capsules are marketed based on traditional Chinese medicine claims that it nourishes the blood, enhances appetite, and energizes multiple internal organs. Shark cartilage contains a mixture of chondroitin and glucosamine, a popular nutritional supplement ingested to improve cartilage function. Sharks are long-lived apex predators, that bioaccumulate environmental marine toxins and methylmercury from dietary exposures. We recently reported detection of the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) in the fins of seven different species of sharks from South Florida coastal waters. Since BMAA has been linked to degenerative brain diseases, the consumption of shark products may pose a human risk for BMAA exposures. In this report, we tested sixteen commercial shark cartilage supplements for BMAA by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-FD) with fluorescence detection and ultra performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Total mercury (Hg) levels were measured in the same shark cartilage products by cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS). We report here that BMAA was detected in fifteen out of sixteen products with concentrations ranging from 86 to 265μg/g (dry weight). All of the shark fin products contained low concentrations of Hg. While Hg contamination is a known risk, the results of the present study demonstrate that shark cartilage products also may contain the neurotoxin BMAA. Although the neurotoxic potential of dietary exposure to BMAA is currently unknown, the results demonstrate that shark cartilage products may contain two environmental neurotoxins that have synergistic toxicities. PMID:24755394

  15. 50 CFR 300.209 - Alternative procedures for nations identified as having vessels engaged in shark catch that are...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... identified as having vessels engaged in shark catch that are not certified in this subpart. 300.209 Section... identified as having vessels engaged in shark catch that are not certified in this subpart. (a) These... not target or incidentally catch sharks, or were harvested by practices that— (1) Are comparable...

  16. 50 CFR 300.209 - Alternative procedures for nations identified as having vessels engaged in shark catch that are...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... identified as having vessels engaged in shark catch that are not certified in this subpart. 300.209 Section... identified as having vessels engaged in shark catch that are not certified in this subpart. (a) These... not target or incidentally catch sharks, or were harvested by practices that— (1) Are comparable...

  17. 78 FR 77591 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River, NJ

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-24

    ...The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the bascule span of the Route 71 Bridge across Shark River (South Channel), mile 0.8, at Belmar, NJ. The deviation is necessary to facilitate the replacement of motor seals and instrumentation on the drawbridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed to navigation position during the......

  18. Cestodes from deep-water squaliform sharks in the Azores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caira, Janine N.; Pickering, Maria

    2013-12-01

    The majority of our knowledge on marine tapeworms (cestodes) is limited to taxa that are relatively easy to obtain (i.e., those that parasitize shallower-water species). The invitation to participate in a deep-water research survey off the Condor seamount in the Azores offered the opportunity to gain information regarding parasites of the less often studied sharks of the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zone. All tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) found parasitizing the spiral intestine of squaliform shark species (Elasmobranchii: Squaliformes) encountered as part of this survey, as well as some additional Azorean sampling from previous years obtained from local fishermen are reported. In total, 112 shark specimens of 12 species of squaliform sharks representing 4 different families from depths ranging between 400 and 1290 m were examined. Cestodes were found in the spiral intestines from 11 of the 12 squaliform species examined: Deania calcea, D. cf. profundorum, D. profundorum, Etmopterus princeps, E. pusillus, E. spinax, Centroscyllium fabricii, Centroscymnus coelolepis, C. cryptacanthus, C. crepidater, and Dalatias licha. No cestodes were found in the spiral intestines of Centrophorus squamosus. Light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed several potentially novel trypanorhynch and biloculated tetraphyllidean species. Aporhynchid and gilquiniid trypanorhynchs dominated the adult cestode fauna of Etmopterus and Deania host species, respectively, while larval phyllobothriids were found across several host genera, including, Deania, Centroscyllium, and Centroscymnus. These results corroborate previous findings that deep-water cestode faunas are relatively depauperate and consist primarily of trypanorhynchs of the families Gilquiniidae and Aporhynchidae and larval tetraphyllideans. A subset of specimens of most cestode species was preserved in ethanol for future molecular analysis to allow more definitive determinations of the identification of the

  19. Algae Reefs in Shark Bay, Western Australia, Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Numerous algae reefs are seen in Shark Bay, Western Australia, Australia (26.0S, 113.5E) especially in the southern portions of the bay. The south end is more saline because tidal flow in and out of the bay is restricted by sediment deposited at the north and central end of the bay opposite the mouth of the Wooramel River. This extremely arid region produces little sediment runoff so that the waters are very clear, saline and rich in algae.

  20. Predicting current and future global distributions of whale sharks.

    PubMed

    Sequeira, Ana M M; Mellin, Camille; Fordham, Damien A; Meekan, Mark G; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2014-03-01

    The Vulnerable (IUCN) whale shark spans warm and temperate waters around the globe. However, their present-day and possible future global distribution has never been predicted. Using 30 years (1980-2010) of whale shark observations recorded by tuna purse-seiners fishing in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, we applied generalized linear mixed-effects models to test the hypothesis that similar environmental covariates predict whale shark occurrence in all major ocean basins. We derived global predictors from satellite images for chlorophyll a and sea surface temperature, and bathymetric charts for depth, bottom slope and distance to shore. We randomly generated pseudo-absences within the area covered by the fisheries, and included fishing effort as an offset to account for potential sampling bias. We predicted sea surface temperatures for 2070 using an ensemble of five global circulation models under a no climate-policy reference scenario, and used these to predict changes in distribution. The full model (excluding standard deviation of sea surface temperature) had the highest relative statistical support (wAICc  = 0.99) and explained ca. 60% of the deviance. Habitat suitability was mainly driven by spatial variation in bathymetry and sea surface temperature among oceans, although these effects differed slightly among oceans. Predicted changes in sea surface temperature resulted in a slight shift of suitable habitat towards the poles in both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans (ca. 5°N and 3-8°S, respectively) accompanied by an overall range contraction (2.5-7.4% and 1.1-6.3%, respectively). Predicted changes in the Pacific Ocean were small. Assuming that whale shark environmental requirements and human disturbances (i.e. no stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions) remain similar, we show that warming sea surface temperatures might promote a net retreat from current aggregation areas and an overall redistribution of the species. PMID:23907987

  1. Seasonal and Ontogenetic Changes in Movement Patterns of Sixgill Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Kelly S.; Williams, Greg D.; Levin, Phillip S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Understanding movement patterns is fundamental to population and conservation biology. The way an animal moves through its environment influences the dynamics of local populations and will determine how susceptible it is to natural or anthropogenic perturbations. It is of particular interest to understand the patterns of movement for species which are susceptible to human activities (e.g. fishing), or that exert a large influence on community structure, such as sharks. Methodology/Principal Findings We monitored the patterns of movement of 34 sixgill sharks Hexanchus griseus using two large-scale acoustic arrays inside and outside Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Sixgill sharks were residents in Puget Sound for up to at least four years before making large movements out of the estuary. Within Puget Sound, sixgills inhabited sites for several weeks at a time and returned to the same sites annually. Across four years, sixgills had consistent seasonal movements in which they moved to the north from winter to spring and moved to the south from summer to fall. Just prior to leaving Puget Sound, sixgills altered their behavior and moved twice as fast among sites. Nineteen of the thirty-four sixgills were detected leaving Puget Sound for the outer coast. Three of these sharks returned to Puget Sound. Conclusions/Significance For most large marine predators, we have a limited understanding of how they move through their environment, and this clouds our ability to successfully manage their populations and their communities. With detailed movement information, such as that being uncovered with acoustic monitoring, we can begin to quantify the spatial and temporal impacts of large predators within the framework of their ecosystems. PMID:20838617

  2. Functional morphology of the radialis muscle in shark tails.

    PubMed

    Flammang, Brooke E

    2010-03-01

    The functional morphology of intrinsic caudal musculature in sharks has not been studied previously, though the kinematics and function of body musculature have been the focus of a great deal of research. In the tail, ventral to the axial myomeres, there is a thin strip of red muscle with fibers angled dorsoposteriorly, known as the radialis. This research gives the first anatomical description of the radialis muscle in sharks, and addresses the hypothesis that the radialis muscle provides postural stiffening in the tail of live swimming sharks. The radialis muscle fibers insert onto the deepest layers of the stratum compactum, the more superior layers of which are orthogonally arrayed and connect to the epidermis. The two deepest layers of the stratum compactum insert onto the proximal ends of the ceratotrichia of the caudal fin. This anatomical arrangement exists in sharks and is modified in rays, but was not found in skates or chimaeras. Electromyography of the caudal muscles of dogfish swimming steadily at 0.25 and 0.5 body lengths per second (Ls(-1)) exhibited a pattern of anterior to posterior activation of the radialis muscle, followed by activation of red axial muscle in the more anteriorly located ipsilateral myomeres of the caudal peduncle; at 0.75 L s(-1), only the anterior portion of the radialis and white axial muscle of the contralateral peduncular myomeres were active. Activity of the radialis muscle occurred during periods of the greatest drag incurred by the tail during the tail beat and preceded the activity of more anteriorly located axial myomeres. This nonconformity to the typical anterior to posterior wave of muscle activation in fish swimming, in combination with anatomical positioning of the radialis muscles and stratum compactum, suggests that radialis activity may have a postural function to stiffen the fin, and does not function as a typical myotomal muscle. PMID:19827156

  3. Biological observations on the crocodile shark Pseudocarcharias kamoharai.

    PubMed

    Dai, X J; Zhu, J F; Chen, X J; Xu, L X; Chen, Y

    2012-04-01

    Sex ratios and gravid characteristics were analysed for the crocodile shark Pseudocarcharias kamoharai from the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. Gravid females ranged from 80 to 102 cm fork length (L(F) ). The mode litter size was four (two embryos per uterus), mean embryo length was linearly correlated with maternal length (r = 0·465, n = 32); there was no significant difference in L(F) between female and male embryos. PMID:22497379

  4. Ecological drivers of shark distributions along a tropical coastline.

    PubMed

    Yates, Peter M; Heupel, Michelle R; Tobin, Andrew J; Simpfendorfer, Colin A

    2015-01-01

    As coastal species experience increasing anthropogenic pressures there is a growing need to characterise the ecological drivers of their abundance and habitat use, and understand how they may respond to changes in their environment. Accordingly, fishery-independent surveys were undertaken to investigate shark abundance along approximately 400 km of the tropical east coast of Australia. Generalised linear models were used to identify ecological drivers of the abundance of immature blacktip Carcharhinus tilstoni/Carcharhinus limbatus, pigeye Carcharhinus amboinensis, and scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini sharks. Results indicated general and species-specific patterns in abundance that were characterised by a range of abiotic and biotic variables. Relationships with turbidity and salinity were similar across multiple species, highlighting the importance of these variables in the functioning of communal shark nurseries. In particular, turbid environments were especially important for all species at typical oceanic salinities. Mangrove proximity, depth, and water temperature were also important; however, their influence varied between species. Ecological drivers may promote spatial diversity in habitat use along environmentally heterogeneous coastlines and may therefore have important implications for population resilience. PMID:25853657

  5. Ecological Drivers of Shark Distributions along a Tropical Coastline

    PubMed Central

    Yates, Peter M.; Heupel, Michelle R.; Tobin, Andrew J.; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.

    2015-01-01

    As coastal species experience increasing anthropogenic pressures there is a growing need to characterise the ecological drivers of their abundance and habitat use, and understand how they may respond to changes in their environment. Accordingly, fishery-independent surveys were undertaken to investigate shark abundance along approximately 400 km of the tropical east coast of Australia. Generalised linear models were used to identify ecological drivers of the abundance of immature blacktip Carcharhinus tilstoni/Carcharhinus limbatus, pigeye Carcharhinus amboinensis, and scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini sharks. Results indicated general and species-specific patterns in abundance that were characterised by a range of abiotic and biotic variables. Relationships with turbidity and salinity were similar across multiple species, highlighting the importance of these variables in the functioning of communal shark nurseries. In particular, turbid environments were especially important for all species at typical oceanic salinities. Mangrove proximity, depth, and water temperature were also important; however, their influence varied between species. Ecological drivers may promote spatial diversity in habitat use along environmentally heterogeneous coastlines and may therefore have important implications for population resilience. PMID:25853657

  6. Mechanics of biting in great white and sandtiger sharks.

    PubMed

    Ferrara, T L; Clausen, P; Huber, D R; McHenry, C R; Peddemors, V; Wroe, S

    2011-02-01

    Although a strong correlation between jaw mechanics and prey selection has been demonstrated in bony fishes (Osteichthyes), how jaw mechanics influence feeding performance in cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) remains unknown. Hence, tooth shape has been regarded as a primary predictor of feeding behavior in sharks. Here we apply Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to examine form and function in the jaws of two threatened shark species, the great white (Carcharodon carcharias) and the sandtiger (Carcharias taurus). These species possess characteristic tooth shapes believed to reflect dietary preferences. We show that the jaws of sandtigers and great whites are adapted for rapid closure and generation of maximum bite force, respectively, and that these functional differences are consistent with diet and dentition. Our results suggest that in both taxa, insertion of jaw adductor muscles on a central tendon functions to straighten and sustain muscle fibers to nearly orthogonal insertion angles as the mouth opens. We argue that this jaw muscle arrangement allows high bite forces to be maintained across a wider range of gape angles than observed in mammalian models. Finally, our data suggest that the jaws of sub-adult great whites are mechanically vulnerable when handling large prey. In addition to ontogenetic changes in dentition, further mineralization of the jaws may be required to effectively feed on marine mammals. Our study is the first comparative FEA of the jaws for any fish species. Results highlight the potential of FEA for testing previously intractable questions regarding feeding mechanisms in sharks and other vertebrates. PMID:21129747

  7. Hydrodynamics of prey capture in sharks: effects of substrate.

    PubMed

    Nauwelaerts, Sandra; Wilga, Cheryl; Sanford, Christopher; Lauder, George

    2007-04-22

    In suction feeding, a volume of water is drawn into the mouth of a predator. Previous studies of suction feeding in fishes have shown that significant fluid velocities are confined to a region within one mouth width from the mouth. Therefore, the predator must be relatively close to the prey to ensure capture success. Here, theoretical modelling is combined with empirical data to unravel the mechanism behind feeding on a substrate. First, we approached the problem theoretically by combining the stream functions of two sinks. Computational fluid dynamics modelling is then applied to make quantitative predictions regarding the effects of substrate proximity on the feeding hydrodynamics of a benthic shark. An oblique circular cylinder and a shark head model were used. To test the models, we used digital particle image velocimetry to record fluid flow around the mouth of white-spotted bamboo sharks, Chiloscyllium plagiosum, during suction feeding on the substrate and in the water column. Empirical results confirmed the modelling predictions: the length of the flow field can be doubled due to passive substrate effects during prey capture. Feeding near a substrate extends the distance over which suction is effective and a predator strike can be effective further from the prey. PMID:17251144

  8. Disseminated fungal infection in two species of captive sharks.

    PubMed

    Marancik, David P; Berliner, Aimee L; Cavin, Julie M; Clauss, Tonya M; Dove, Alistair D M; Sutton, Deanna A; Wickes, Brian L; Camus, Alvin C

    2011-12-01

    In this report, two cases of systemic mycosis in captive sharks are characterized. These cases were progressive and ultimately culminated in terminal disease. Paecilomyces lilacinus, an uncommon pathogen in human and veterinary medicine, was associated with areas of necrosis in the liver, heart, and gill in a great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). Fungal growth was observed from samples of kidney, spleen, spinal fluid, and coelomic cavity swabs. Dual fungal infection by Exophiala pisciphila and Mucor circinelloides was diagnosed in a juvenile zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum). Both fungi were present in the liver, with more severe tissue destruction associated with E. pisciphila. E. pisciphila also produced significant necrosis in the spleen and gill, while M. circinelloides was associated with only minimal tissue changes in the heart. Fungal cultures from liver, kidney, and spleen were positive for both E. pisciphila and M. circinelloides. Identification of P. lilacinus and M. circinelloides was based on colonial and hyphal morphology. E. pisciphila was identified by sequence analysis of the 28S rRNA D1/D2 region and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region between the 18S and 28S rRNA subunit. These cases, and a lack of information in the literature, highlight the need for further research and diagnostic sampling to further characterize the host-pathogen interaction between elasmobranchs and fungi. PMID:22204064

  9. Functional morphology of the nasal region of a hammerhead shark.

    PubMed

    Abel, Richard L; Maclaine, James S; Cotton, Ross; Xuan, Viet Bui; Nickels, Timothy B; Clark, Thomas H; Wang, Zhijin; Cox, Jonathan P L

    2010-04-01

    We describe several novel morphological features in the nasal region of the hammerhead shark Sphyrna tudes. Unlike the open, rounded incurrent nostril of non-hammerhead shark species, the incurrent nostril of S. tudes is a thin keyhole-like aperture. We discovered a groove running anterior and parallel to the incurrent nostril. This groove, dubbed the minor nasal groove to distinguish it from the larger, previously described, (major) nasal groove, is common to all eight hammerhead species. Using life-sized plastic models generated at 200 microm resolution from an X-ray scan, we also investigated flow in the nasal region. Even modest oncoming flow speeds stimulate extensive, but not complete, circulation within the model olfactory chamber, with flow passing through the two main olfactory channels. Flow crossed from one channel to another via a gap in the olfactory array, sometimes guided by the interlamellar channels. Major and minor nasal grooves, as well as directing flow into the olfactory chamber, can, in conjunction with the nasal bridge separating incurrent and excurrent nostrils, limit flow passing into the olfactory chamber, possibly to protect the delicate nasal structures. This is the first simulation of internal flow within the olfactory chamber of a shark. PMID:19883784

  10. Convergent evolution in mechanical design of lamnid sharks and tunas.

    PubMed

    Donley, Jeanine M; Sepulveda, Chugey A; Konstantinidis, Peter; Gemballa, Sven; Shadwick, Robert E

    2004-05-01

    The evolution of 'thunniform' body shapes in several different groups of vertebrates, including whales, ichthyosaurs and several species of large pelagic fishes supports the view that physical and hydromechanical demands provided important selection pressures to optimize body design for locomotion during vertebrate evolution. Recognition of morphological similarities between lamnid sharks (the most well known being the great white and the mako) and tunas has led to a general expectation that they also have converged in their functional design; however, no quantitative data exist on the mechanical performance of the locomotor system in lamnid sharks. Here we examine the swimming kinematics, in vivo muscle dynamics and functional morphology of the force-transmission system in a lamnid shark, and show that the evolutionary convergence in body shape and mechanical design between the distantly related lamnids and tunas is much more than skin deep; it extends to the depths of the myotendinous architecture and the mechanical basis for propulsive movements. We demonstrate that not only have lamnids and tunas converged to a much greater extent than previously known, but they have also developed morphological and functional adaptations in their locomotor systems that are unlike virtually all other fishes. PMID:15129279

  11. Thermodynamic analysis of shark skin texture surfaces for microchannel flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Hao-Chun; Guo, Yang-Yu; Tan, He-Ping; Li, Yao; Xie, Gong-Nan

    2015-10-01

    The studies of shark skin textured surfaces in flow drag reduction provide inspiration to researchers overcoming technical challenges from actual production application. In this paper, three kinds of infinite parallel plate flow models with microstructure inspired by shark skin were established, namely blade model, wedge model and the smooth model, according to cross-sectional shape of microstructure. Simulation was carried out by using FLUENT, which simplified the computation process associated with direct numeric simulations. To get the best performance from simulation results, shear-stress transport k-omega turbulence model was chosen during the simulation. Since drag reduction mechanism is generally discussed from kinetics point of view, which cannot interpret the cause of these losses directly, a drag reduction rate was established based on the second law of thermodynamics. Considering abrasion and fabrication precision in practical applications, three kinds of abraded geometry models were constructed and tested, and the ideal microstructure was found to achieve best performance suited to manufacturing production on the basis of drag reduction rate. It was also believed that bionic shark skin surfaces with mechanical abrasion may draw more attention from industrial designers and gain wide applications with drag-reducing characteristics.

  12. Geochemical characteristics of Cretaceous carbonatites from Angola

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alberti, A.; Castorina, F.; Censi, P.; Comin-Chiaramonti, P.; Gomes, C. B.

    1999-12-01

    The Early Cretaceous (138-130 Ma) carbonatites and associated alkaline rocks of Angola belong to the Paraná-Angola-Etendeka Province and occur as ring complexes and other central-type intrusions along northeast trending tectonic lineaments, parallel to the trend of coeval Namibian alkaline complexes. Most of the Angolan carbonatite-alkaline bodies are located along the apical part of the Moçamedes Arch, a structure representing the African counterpart of the Ponta Grossa Arch in southern Brazil, where several alkaline-carbonatite complexes were also emplaced in the Early Cretaceous. Geochemical and isotopic (C, 0, Sr and Nd) characteristics determined for five carbonatitic occurrences indicate that: (1) the overall geochemical composition, including the OC isotopes, is within the range of the Early and Late Cretaceous Brazilian occurrences from the Paraná Basin; (2) the La versus {La}/{Yb} relationships are consistent with the exsolution of CO i2-rich melts from trachyphonolitic magmas; and (3) the {143Nd}/{144Nd} and {87Sr}/{86Sr} initial ratios are similar to the initial isotopic ratios (129 Ma) of alkaline complexes in northwest Namibia. In contrast, the Lupongola carbonatites have a distinctly different {143Nd}/{144Nd} initial ratio, suggesting a different source. The Angolan carbonatites have SrNd isotopic compositions ranging from bulk earth to time-integrated depleted sources. Since those from eastern Paraguay (at the western fringe of the Paraná-Angola-Etendeka Province) and Brazil appear to be related to mantle-derived melts with time-integrated enriched or B.E. isotopic characteristics, it is concluded that the carbonatites of the Paraná-Angola-Etendeka Province have compositionally distinct mantle sources. Such mantle heterogeneity is attributed to 'metasomatic processes', which would have occurred at ca 0.6-0.7 Ga (Angola, northwest Namibia and Brazil) and ca 1.8 Ga (eastern Paraguay), as suggested by Nd-model ages.

  13. The drainage of Africa since the Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goudie, Andrew S.

    2005-04-01

    Much of the drainage of Africa is relatively youthful. Many of its major rivers have shown substantial changes in their courses since the break up of Gondwanaland in the Cretaceous. In addition, many of the rivers have distinctive morphological characteristics such as inland deltas, cataracts and elbows of capture. Tectonic and climatic changes, including the development of the East African Rift System and the aridification of the Quaternary, help to explain the nature of these rivers. The history of the Saharan rivers, the Niger, the Nile, the Congo, the Cunene, the Zambezi, the Limpopo and the Orange, is reviewed.

  14. Plastic toy shark drifts through airlock in front of EMU suited MS Lenoir

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Plastic toy shark drifts through airlock and around fully extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) suited Mission Specialist (MS) Lenoir. Lenoir watches as shark drifts pass his left hand. Lenoir donned the EMU in preparation for a scheduled extravehicular activity (EVA) which was cancelled due to EMU problems.

  15. Children's Perceptions of Sharks and Understanding of Its Ecological Significance for Educational Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsoi, Kwok Ho

    2011-01-01

    Global shark populations are seriously declining and many species are now threatened by anthropogenic stresses. Their extinction would cause devastating consequences to the marine biodiversity and ecosystems. However some children describe the sharks as bad guys, "we should kill them all!" Such children's view motivates my study interest. This…

  16. Fisheries ecology: hunger for shark fin soup drives clam chowder off the menu.

    PubMed

    Brierley, Andrew S

    2007-07-17

    Removal by fishing of large sharks has reduced predation-pressure on shark prey and, via a trophic cascade, caused clam populations to crash. This indirect response illustrates why fisheries should be managed in a whole-ecosystem context. PMID:17637357

  17. 77 FR 67631 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2013 Research Fishery

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-13

    ... for Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 2) (73 FR 35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658, July 15, 2008) established, among other things, a shark research fishery to maintain time... in 2012 and thus no further reductions are required, in the 2013 shark specifications (77 FR...

  18. 75 FR 57259 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2011 Research Fishery

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-20

    ... for Amendment 2 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (73 FR 35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658... observer program; ] Acquire fin-clip samples of all species for genetic analysis; Attach satellite archival...); Attach satellite archival tags to prohibited dusky sharks and other sharks, as needed, to...

  19. 75 FR 74693 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-01

    ... premises of each business listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR... permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As such, vessel owners... operator have valid workshop certificates onboard at all times. The certificate(s) are valid for 3...

  20. 76 FR 77214 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-12

    ... business listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2... certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for... vessel owner and operator have valid workshop certificates onboard at all times. These certificate(s)...

  1. 77 FR 12574 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-01

    ... business listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2... permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for three years. As such, vessel... operator have valid workshop certificates onboard at all times. Vessel operators who have not...

  2. 76 FR 11762 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-03

    ... each business listed under the shark dealer permit which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057... permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As such, vessel owners... operator have valid workshop certificates onboard at all times. The certificate(s) are valid for 3...

  3. Age-related polychlorinated biphenyl dynamics in immature bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas).

    PubMed

    Olin, Jill A; Beaudry, Marina; Fisk, Aaron T; Paterson, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were quantified in liver tissues of bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) ranging in age from <4 wk to >3 yr. Summed values of PCBs (ΣPCBs) ranged from 310 ng/g to 22 070 ng/g (lipid wt) across age classes with ΣPCB concentrations for the youngest sharks in the present study (<4 wk; 5230 ± 2170 ng/g lipid wt) determined to not significantly differ from those quantified in >3-yr-old sharks, highlighting the extent of exposure of this young life stage to this class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Age normalization of PCB congener concentrations to those measured for the youngest sharks demonstrated a significant hydrophobicity (log octanol/water partition coefficient [KOW ]) effect that was indicative of maternal offloading of highly hydrophobic (log KOW ≥6.5) congeners to the youngest individuals. A distinct shift in the PCB congener profiles was also observed as these young sharks grew in size. This shift was consistent with a transition from the maternally offloaded signal to the initiation of exogenous feeding and the contributions of mechanisms including growth dilution and whole-body elimination. These results add to the growing pool of literature documenting substantially high concentrations of POPs in juvenile sharks that are most likely attributable to maternal offloading. Collectively, such results underscore the potential vulnerability of young sharks to POP exposure and pose additional concerns for shark-conservation efforts. PMID:24357032

  4. Variation in depth of whitetip reef sharks: does provisioning ecotourism change their behaviour?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzpatrick, Richard; Abrantes, Kátya G.; Seymour, Jamie; Barnett, Adam

    2011-09-01

    In the dive tourism industry, shark provisioning has become increasingly popular in many places around the world. It is therefore important to determine the impacts that provisioning may have on shark behaviour. In this study, eight adult whitetip reef sharks Triaenodon obesus were tagged with time-depth recorders at Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, Australia. Tags collected time and depth data every 30 s. The absolute change in depth over 5-min blocks was considered as a proxy for vertical activity level. Daily variations in vertical activity levels were analysed to determine the effects of time of day on whitetip reef shark behaviour. This was done for days when dive boats were absent from the area, and for days when dive boats were present, conducting shark provisioning. Vertical activity levels varied between day and night, and with the presence of boats. In natural conditions (no boats present), sharks remained at more constant depths during the day, while at night animals continuously moved up and down the water column, showing that whitetip reef sharks are nocturnally active. When boats were present, however, there were also long periods of vertical activity during the day. If resting periods during the day are important for energy budgets, then shark provisioning may affect their health. So, if this behaviour alteration occurs frequently, e.g., daily, this has the potential to have significant negative effects on the animals' metabolic rates, net energy gain and overall health, reproduction and fitness.

  5. Thermal stability and refolding capability of shark derived single domain antibodies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jinny L; Zabetakis, Dan; Brown, Jazmine C; Anderson, George P; Goldman, Ellen R

    2014-06-01

    Single-domain antibodies (sdAb) from camelids and sharks represent the smallest immunoglobulin-based functional binding domains, and are known for their thermal stability and ability to refold after denaturation. Whereas target-binding sdAb have been derived from both immunized and naïve sharks and camelids, the stability of camelid-derived sdAb have been evaluated much more extensively. To address this disparity we characterized 20 sdAb derived from spiny dogfish shark and smooth dogfish shark in terms of their protein production, melting temperature and ability to refold after heat denaturation. Using the same expression system and protocol as we follow to produce camelid sdAb, production of the shark sdAb was quite poor, often resulting in less than a tenth of the typical yield for camelid sdAb. We measured the melting temperature of each of the sdAb. Similar to camelid sdAb, the shark-derived sdAb, showed a range of melting temperature values from 42°C to 77°C. Also similar to what has been observed in camelids, the sdAb from both shark species showed a range of ability to refold after heat denaturation. This work demonstrated that although shark sdAb can possess high melting temperatures and refolding ability, no clear advantage over sdAb derived from camelids in terms of thermostability and renaturation was obtained. PMID:24667069

  6. 50 CFR 635.24 - Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., swordfish, and BAYS tunas. 635.24 Section 635.24 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT... Management Measures § 635.24 Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas. The retention... issued both an HMS Charter/Headboat permit and a commercial shark permit when tuna, swordfish or...

  7. 50 CFR 635.24 - Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., swordfish, and BAYS tunas. 635.24 Section 635.24 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT... Management Measures § 635.24 Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas. The retention... issued both an HMS Charter/Headboat permit and a commercial shark permit when tuna, swordfish or...

  8. 78 FR 14515 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; 2012 Research Fishery

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... (73 FR 35778, June 24, 2008, corrected at 73 FR 40658, July 15, 2008) established, among other things... (77 FR 67631), we published a notice inviting qualified commercial shark permit holders to submit an... Shark Management Measures; 2012 Research Fishery AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service...

  9. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Rohner, Christoph A.; Armstrong, Amelia J.; Pierce, Simon J.; Prebble, Clare E. M.; Cagua, E. Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E. M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2015-01-01

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m−3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. PMID:25814777

  10. How Full Is Your Luggage? Background Knowledge of Zoo Visitors Regarding Sharks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    das Neves, João Pedro Correia; Monteiro, Rute Cristina Rocha

    2013-01-01

    For the general population, sharks have a reputation that does not really fit with their biological and ecological nature. Informal surveys often classify sharks as dangerous, aggressive and/or man-eaters. This apparent common knowledge seems difficult to detach from the conscience of many worldwide zoo visitors, even with the help of…

  11. 78 FR 34349 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-07

    ... which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully... to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC681 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  12. 77 FR 38775 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-29

    ...: Correction In the Federal Register of June 4, 2012, in FR Doc. 2012-13466, on page 32950, in the third column... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC042 Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification... Shark Identification workshop originally scheduled for August 9, 2012, in Rosenberg, TX, has...

  13. 78 FR 54456 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-04

    ... which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully... to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC810 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  14. 77 FR 70372 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River (South Channel), Avon Township, NJ

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-26

    ... FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Sec. Section Symbol U.S.C. United States Code... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Shark River (South..., across Shark River (South Channel) at Avon Township, NJ. The existing regulation contains a...

  15. 75 FR 54598 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-08

    ...: Need for Correction In the Federal Register of May 28, 2010, in FR Doc. 2010-12919, on page 29992, in... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XW44 Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification... cancelling the Atlantic Shark Identification workshop that was scheduled for September 2, 2010, in...

  16. 75 FR 44938 - Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Atlantic Coastal Shark Fishery

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-30

    ... on April 27, 2010 (75 FR 22103), and are not repeated here. Activities Pursuant to the Atlantic... Management Act Provisions; Atlantic Coastal Shark Fishery AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... coastal sharks in the State waters of New Jersey. NMFS canceled the moratorium, as required by...

  17. 77 FR 32036 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Porbeagle Shark Fishery Closure

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-31

    ... species group is closed, even across fishing years. On January 24, 2012 (77 FR 3393), NMFS announced that... Species; Commercial Porbeagle Shark Fishery Closure AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS.... SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the commercial fishery for porbeagle sharks. This action is necessary...

  18. 77 FR 55464 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-10

    ... which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully... certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC174 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  19. 75 FR 53665 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-01

    ... Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully complete a workshop are..., and Identification Workshop certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XY59 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  20. 78 FR 58878 - Safety Zone; San Diego Shark Fest Swim; San Diego Bay, San Diego, CA

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-25

    ... Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; San Diego Shark Fest Swim; San Diego Bay... Diego Shark Fest Swim. This safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of the participants,...

  1. 77 FR 73451 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-10

    ... which first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully... certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These ] certificate(s) are valid... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC361 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  2. 78 FR 54195 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Commercial Shark Fisheries

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-03

    ... implemented and analyzed in the 2013 shark quota final rule (77 FR 75896, December 26, 2013) and in the final... Species; Atlantic Commercial Shark Fisheries AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National.... SUMMARY: NMFS is transferring 68 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) of non-blacknose small coastal...

  3. 76 FR 53343 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Porbeagle Shark Fishery Closure

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-26

    ... species group is closed, even across fishing years. On December 8, 2010 (75 FR 76302), NMFS announced that... Species; Commercial Porbeagle Shark Fishery Closure AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS.... SUMMARY: NMFS is closing the commercial fishery for porbeagle sharks. This action is necessary...

  4. 78 FR 73500 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-06

    ... Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully complete a workshop are... permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As such, vessel owners... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC997 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  5. 77 FR 32950 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-04

    ... Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully complete a workshop are..., Release, and Identification Workshop certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC042 Schedules for Atlantic Shark...

  6. 76 FR 23935 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-29

    ... published in the Federal Register (71 FR 58058) final regulations, effective November 1, 2006 that... regulations to end overfishing and rebuild the scalloped hammerhead shark stock within two years as mandated... Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),...

  7. 76 FR 67121 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2012 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-31

    ... overfishing occurring (76 FR 23794; April 28, 2011). Scalloped hammerhead sharks are included in the non... stock determinations for blacknose and sandbar sharks (76 FR 62331; October 7, 2011). The blacknose... HMS FMP and the EA with the 2011 quota specifications rule (75 FR 76302; December 8, 2010). Thus,...

  8. 77 FR 60632 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Silky Shark Management Measures

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-04

    ... preamble to the proposed rule (77 FR 37647, June 22, 2012) and is not repeated here. NMFS prepared an EA... whitetip sharks (76 FR 53652), the regulatory language associated with this action needed to be revised to... and oceanic whitetip sharks (76 FR 53652), and to align the rule with the regulated...

  9. 77 FR 3393 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2012 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-24

    ... again for some shark species in Amendment 5 (76 FR 62331; October 7, 2011) and Amendment 6 (76 FR 57709... measures from the 2011 shark season rule (75 FR 76302; December 8, 2010) to allow for flexible opening... implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 635. On October 31, 2011, NMFS published a rule (76 FR 67121)...

  10. 76 FR 65673 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures; Correction

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-24

    ...This document corrects an October 7, 2011, notice that announced the stock status of several Atlantic shark stocks and announced NMFS' intent to amend the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) via the rulemaking process to rebuild these shark stocks and end overfishing, as necessary. The notice provided an incorrect date for a scoping meeting held in......

  11. 77 FR 31562 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-29

    ... October 7, 2011(76 FR 62331). This amendment is designed to rebuild and/or end overfishing on several shark stocks that were determined to be overfished and/or have overfishing occurring. We anticipate... Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),...

  12. 75 FR 57235 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Shark Management Measures

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-20

    ...NMFS issues this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to provide background information and request public comment on potential adjustments to the regulations governing the U.S. Atlantic shark fishery to address several specific issues currently affecting management of the shark fishery and to identify specific goals for management of fishery in the future. NMFS is requesting public......

  13. The Shark Assemblage at French Frigate Shoals Atoll, Hawai‘i: Species Composition, Abundance and Habitat Use

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Jonathan J.; Stankus, Austin M.; Burns, Michael S.; Meyer, Carl G.

    2011-01-01

    Empirical data on the abundance and habitat preferences of coral reef top predators are needed to evaluate their ecological impacts and guide management decisions. We used longline surveys to quantify the shark assemblage at French Frigate Shoals (FFS) atoll from May to August 2009. Fishing effort consisted of 189 longline sets totaling 6,862 hook hours of soak time. A total of 221 sharks from 7 species were captured, among which Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis, 36.2%), gray reef (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, 25.8%) and tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier, 20.4%) sharks were numerically dominant. A lack of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) distinguished the FFS shark assemblage from those at many other atolls in the Indo-Pacific. Compared to prior underwater visual survey estimates, longline methods more accurately represented species abundance and composition for the majority of shark species. Sharks were significantly less abundant in the shallow lagoon than adjacent habitats. Recaptures of Galapagos sharks provided the first empirical estimate of population size for any Galapagos shark population. The overall recapture rate was 5.4%. Multiple closed population models were evaluated, with Chao Mh ranking best in model performance and yielding a population estimate of 668 sharks with 95% confidence intervals ranging from 289–1720. Low shark abundance in the shallow lagoon habitats suggests removal of a small number of sharks from the immediate vicinity of lagoonal islets may reduce short-term predation on endangered monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) pups, but considerable fishing effort would be required to catch even a small number of sharks. Additional data on long-term movements and habitat use of sharks at FFS are required to better assess the likely ecological impacts of shark culling. PMID:21347321

  14. The shark assemblage at French Frigate Shoals atoll, Hawai'i: species composition, abundance and habitat use.

    PubMed

    Dale, Jonathan J; Stankus, Austin M; Burns, Michael S; Meyer, Carl G

    2011-01-01

    Empirical data on the abundance and habitat preferences of coral reef top predators are needed to evaluate their ecological impacts and guide management decisions. We used longline surveys to quantify the shark assemblage at French Frigate Shoals (FFS) atoll from May to August 2009. Fishing effort consisted of 189 longline sets totaling 6,862 hook hours of soak time. A total of 221 sharks from 7 species were captured, among which Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis, 36.2%), gray reef (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, 25.8%) and tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier, 20.4%) sharks were numerically dominant. A lack of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) distinguished the FFS shark assemblage from those at many other atolls in the Indo-Pacific. Compared to prior underwater visual survey estimates, longline methods more accurately represented species abundance and composition for the majority of shark species. Sharks were significantly less abundant in the shallow lagoon than adjacent habitats. Recaptures of Galapagos sharks provided the first empirical estimate of population size for any Galapagos shark population. The overall recapture rate was 5.4%. Multiple closed population models were evaluated, with Chao M(h) ranking best in model performance and yielding a population estimate of 668 sharks with 95% confidence intervals ranging from 289-1720. Low shark abundance in the shallow lagoon habitats suggests removal of a small number of sharks from the immediate vicinity of lagoonal islets may reduce short-term predation on endangered monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) pups, but considerable fishing effort would be required to catch even a small number of sharks. Additional data on long-term movements and habitat use of sharks at FFS are required to better assess the likely ecological impacts of shark culling. PMID:21347321

  15. Cretaceous - Tertiary Hoploparia species: Occurrence, paleobiogeography and predation context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Shazly, Soheir

    2015-12-01

    The study of Hoploparia species in 25 localities in Northern and Southern Hemispheres from Early Cretaceous to Early Miocene reveals the appearance of 51 species in Early Cretaceous, mostly in Northern Hemisphere, 46 species from Late Cretaceous (42 and 4 carryover from the Early Cretaceous), 7 species from Danian (4 plus 3 carryover from the Late Cretaceous), 7 species from Eocene (6 plus one from the Early Cretaceous), 2 species from Lower Oligocene and the last recorded species Hoploparia persisted in the Early Miocene of Antarctica. The oldest Hoploparia was recorded from Europe and distributed through the Northern and Southern Hemispheres with the facilitation of the Indo-Madagascar sea-way and Hispanic corridor. The tolerance for temperature and water depth as well as the morphological changes in genus Hoploparia in the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, helped some species to survive the K/T event. Drill-hole predation in Hoploparia longimana (Sowerby, 1826) was recorded for the first time from the Lower Cretaceous (Albian) of Egypt.

  16. Quantification of massive seasonal aggregations of blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) in Southeast Florida

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Kajiura, Stephen M.; Tellman, Shari L.; Patterson, Heather M.

    2016-03-30

    Southeast Florida witnesses an enormous seasonal influx of upper trophic level marine predators each year as massive aggregations of migrating blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) overwinter in nearshore waters. The narrow shelf and close proximity of the Gulf Stream current to the Palm Beach County shoreline drive tens of thousands of sharks to the shallow, coastal environment. This natural bottleneck provides a unique opportunity to estimate relative abundance. Over a four year period from 2011–2014, an aerial survey was flown approximately biweekly along the length of Palm Beach County. A high definition video camera and digital still camera mounted out ofmore » the airplane window provided a continuous record of the belt transect which extended 200 m seaward from the shoreline between Boca Raton Inlet and Jupiter Inlet. The number of sharks within the survey transect was directly counted from the video. Shark abundance peaked in the winter (January-March) with a maximum in 2011 of 12,128 individuals counted within the 75.6 km-2 belt transect. This resulted in a maximum density of 803.2 sharks km-2. By the late spring (April-May), shark abundance had sharply declined to 1.1% of its peak, where it remained until spiking again in January of the following year. Shark abundance was inversely correlated with water temperature and large numbers of sharks were found only when water temperatures were less than 25°C. Shark abundance was also correlated with day of the year but not with barometric pressure. Although shark abundance was not correlated with photoperiod, the departure of the sharks from southeast Florida occurred around the vernal equinox. The shark migration along the United States eastern seaboard corresponds spatially and temporally with the spawning aggregations of various baitfish species. As a result, these baseline abundance data can be compared to future studies to determine if shark population size is changing and if sharks are restricting

  17. Shark Attack: high affinity binding proteins derived from shark vNAR domains by stepwise in vitro affinity maturation.

    PubMed

    Zielonka, Stefan; Weber, Niklas; Becker, Stefan; Doerner, Achim; Christmann, Andreas; Christmann, Christine; Uth, Christina; Fritz, Janine; Schäfer, Elena; Steinmann, Björn; Empting, Martin; Ockelmann, Pia; Lierz, Michael; Kolmar, Harald

    2014-12-10

    A novel method for stepwise in vitro affinity maturation of antigen-specific shark vNAR domains is described that exclusively relies on semi-synthetic repertoires derived from non-immunized sharks. Target-specific molecules were selected from a CDR3-randomized bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) vNAR library using yeast surface display as platform technology. Various antigen-binding vNAR domains were easily isolated by screening against several therapeutically relevant antigens, including the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), the Ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EphA2), and the human serine protease HTRA1. Affinity maturation was demonstrated for EpCAM and HTRA1 by diversifying CDR1 of target-enriched populations which allowed for the rapid selection of nanomolar binders. EpCAM-specific vNAR molecules were produced as soluble proteins and more extensively characterized via thermal shift assays and biolayer interferometry. Essentially, we demonstrate that high-affinity binders can be generated in vitro without largely compromising the desirable high thermostability of the vNAR scaffold. PMID:24862193

  18. Pharmacokinetics of cefovecin (Convenia) in white bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) and Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus).

    PubMed

    Steeil, James C; Schumacher, Juergen; George, Robert H; Bulman, Frank; Baine, Katherine; Cox, Sherry

    2014-06-01

    Cefovecin was administered to six healthy adult white bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) and six healthy adult Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) to determine its pharmacokinetics in these species. A single dose of cefovecin at 8 mg/kg was administered subcutaneously in the epaxial region of the bamboo sharks and in the proximal articulation of the lateral leg of the horseshoe crabs. Blood and hemolymph samples were collected at various time points from bamboo sharks and Atlantic horseshoe crabs. High performance liquid chromatography was performed to determine plasma levels of cefovecin. The terminal halflife of cefovecin in Atlantic horseshoe crabs was 37.70 +/- 9.04 hr and in white bamboo sharks was 2.02 +/- 4.62 hr. Cefovecin concentrations were detected for 4 days in white bamboo sharks and for 14 days in Atlantic horseshoe crabs. No adverse effects associated with cefovecin administration were seen in either species. PMID:25000704

  19. Satellite tagging and cardiac physiology reveal niche expansion in salmon sharks.

    PubMed

    Weng, Kevin C; Castilho, Pedro C; Morrissette, Jeffery M; Landeira-Fernandez, Ana M; Holts, David B; Schallert, Robert J; Goldman, Kenneth J; Block, Barbara A

    2005-10-01

    Shark populations are declining globally, yet the movements and habitats of most species are unknown. We used a satellite tag attached to the dorsal fin to track salmon sharks (Lamna ditropis) for up to 3.2 years. Here we show that salmon sharks have a subarctic-to-subtropical niche, ranging from 2 degrees to 24 degrees C, and they spend winter periods in waters as cold as 2 degrees to 8 degrees C. Functional assays and protein gels reveal that the expression of excitation-contraction coupling proteins is enhanced in salmon shark hearts, which may underlie the shark's ability to maintain heart function at cold temperatures and their niche expansion into subarctic seas. PMID:16210538

  20. Slingshot feeding of the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni (Pisces: Lamniformes: Mitsukurinidae)

    PubMed Central

    Nakaya, Kazuhiro; Tomita, Taketeru; Suda, Kenta; Sato, Keiichi; Ogimoto, Keisuke; Chappell, Anthony; Sato, Toshihiko; Takano, Katsuhiko; Yuki, Yoshio

    2016-01-01

    Five striking and prey capture events of two goblin sharks were videotaped at sea for the first time, showing their extraordinary biting process. The goblin sharks swung their lower jaw downward and backward to attain a huge gape and then rapidly protruded the jaws forward a considerable distance. The jaws were projected at a maximum velocity of 3.1 m/s to 8.6–9.4% of the total length of the shark, which is by far the fastest and greatest jaw protrusion among sharks. While the jaws were being retracted, the mouth opened and closed again, which was considered a novel feeding event for sharks. Phylogenetic evidence suggested that their feeding behavior has evolved as an adaptation to food-poor deep-sea environments, possibly as a trade-off for the loss of strong swimming ability. PMID:27282933

  1. Slingshot feeding of the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni (Pisces: Lamniformes: Mitsukurinidae).

    PubMed

    Nakaya, Kazuhiro; Tomita, Taketeru; Suda, Kenta; Sato, Keiichi; Ogimoto, Keisuke; Chappell, Anthony; Sato, Toshihiko; Takano, Katsuhiko; Yuki, Yoshio

    2016-01-01

    Five striking and prey capture events of two goblin sharks were videotaped at sea for the first time, showing their extraordinary biting process. The goblin sharks swung their lower jaw downward and backward to attain a huge gape and then rapidly protruded the jaws forward a considerable distance. The jaws were projected at a maximum velocity of 3.1 m/s to 8.6-9.4% of the total length of the shark, which is by far the fastest and greatest jaw protrusion among sharks. While the jaws were being retracted, the mouth opened and closed again, which was considered a novel feeding event for sharks. Phylogenetic evidence suggested that their feeding behavior has evolved as an adaptation to food-poor deep-sea environments, possibly as a trade-off for the loss of strong swimming ability. PMID:27282933

  2. Eye lens radiocarbon reveals centuries of longevity in the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus).

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Julius; Hedeholm, Rasmus B; Heinemeier, Jan; Bushnell, Peter G; Christiansen, Jørgen S; Olsen, Jesper; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Brill, Richard W; Simon, Malene; Steffensen, Kirstine F; Steffensen, John F

    2016-08-12

    The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus), an iconic species of the Arctic Seas, grows slowly and reaches >500 centimeters (cm) in total length, suggesting a life span well beyond those of other vertebrates. Radiocarbon dating of eye lens nuclei from 28 female Greenland sharks (81 to 502 cm in total length) revealed a life span of at least 272 years. Only the smallest sharks (220 cm or less) showed signs of the radiocarbon bomb pulse, a time marker of the early 1960s. The age ranges of prebomb sharks (reported as midpoint and extent of the 95.4% probability range) revealed the age at sexual maturity to be at least 156 ± 22 years, and the largest animal (502 cm) to be 392 ± 120 years old. Our results show that the Greenland shark is the longest-lived vertebrate known, and they raise concerns about species conservation. PMID:27516602

  3. Endohelminth parasites of the leafscale gulper shark, Centrophorus squamosus (Bonnaterre, 1788) (Squaliformes:Centrophoridae) off Madeira Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Costa, Graça; Chada, Tomás; Melo-Moreira, Egberto; Cavallero, Serena; D'Amelio, Stefano

    2014-06-01

    The endohelminth parasite fauna of a deep water shark, the leafscale gulper shark, Centrophorus squamosus, examined from Madeiran waters, from September 2009 to January 2010, consisted of larval and juvenile cestodes of two orders, namely Trypanorhyncha and Tetraphyllidea, and L3 stages of Anisakis spp. Infection with Anisakis spp. could be due to the shark's opportunistic feeding on squids and black-scabbard fish, Aphanopus carbo, which is heavily parasitized by Anisakis spp. in Madeira waters. The occurrence of larval and juvenile cestodes only, in this shark, suggests that the leafscale gulper shark features as a paratenic or a dead-end host for the parasites. PMID:24827105

  4. The Darwin Rise: A Cretaceous superswell?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, M. K.; Winterer, E. L.; Sager, W. W.; Natland, J. H.; Ito, G.

    1990-07-01

    The Japanese Guyots, Wake Guyots, and Mid-Pacific Mountains are part of a broad area of Cretaceous volcanism in the western Pacific termed the “Darwin Rise.” Based on Seabeam bathymetric data we classify these drowned volcanic islands as: type “A,” those that advanced to the atoll stage before final submergence; type “B,” those that drowned at the barrier reef stage; and type “V,” those with little or no reef material on their volcanic summits. Widespread evidence for karst topography extending to depths of 200 m on the summits of A and B guyots sheds new light on events leading to the synchronous extinction of reefs on the Darwin Rise in the mid-Cretaceous. We propose that after the formation of the reefs on the A and B guyots, the entire region was elevated at approximately the Aptian-Albian boundary (113 Ma) to form a superswell similar to that existing now in French Polynesia. The type V guyots formed on this anomalously shallow lithosphere. The demise of the reefs was the direct result of the rise of this superswell, although climate factors may have prevented reef recolonization following its later subsidence.

  5. Cretaceous-Palaeogene experiments in Biogeochemical Resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penman, D. E.; Henehan, M. J.; Hull, P. M.; Planavsky, N.; Schmidt, D. N.; Rae, J. W. B.; Thomas, E.; Huber, B. T.

    2015-12-01

    Human activity is altering biogeochemical cycles in the ocean. While ultimately anthropogenic forcings may be brought under control, it is still unclear whether tipping points may exist beyond which human-induced changes to biogeochemical cycles become irreversible. We use the Late Cretaceous and the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) boundary interval as an informative case study. Over this interval, two carbon cycle perturbations (gradual flood basalt volcanism and abrupt bolide impact) occurred within a short time window, allowing us to investigate the resilience of biogeochemical cycles to different pressures applied to the same initial boundary conditions on very different time scales. We demonstrate that relatively gradual emission of CO2 from the Deccan large igneous province was efficiently mitigated within the limits of existing biogeochemical processes. However, the rapid extinction of pelagic calcifying organisms at the K-Pg boundary due to the Chicxulub bolide impact had more profound effects, and caused lasting (> 1 million years) changes to biogeochemical cycles. By combining sedimentological observations with boron isotope-based pH reconstructions over these events, we document two potentially useful partial analogues for best and worst case scenarios for anthropogenic global change. We suggest that if current ocean acidification results in the mass extinction of marine pelagic calcifiers, we may cause profound changes to the Earth system that will persist for 100,000s to millions of years.

  6. Low ecological disparity in Early Cretaceous birds.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Jonathan S; Makovicky, Peter J

    2014-07-22

    Ecological divergence is thought to be coupled with evolutionary radiations, yet the strength of this coupling is unclear. When birds diversified ecologically has received much less attention than their hotly debated crown divergence time. Here, we quantify how accurately skeletal morphology can predict ecology in living and extinct birds, and show that the earliest known assemblage of birds (=pygostylians) from the Jehol Biota (≈125 Ma) was substantially impoverished ecologically. The Jehol avifauna has few representatives of highly preservable ecomorphs (e.g. aquatic forms) and a notable lack of ecomorphological overlap with the pterosaur assemblage (e.g. no large or aerially foraging pygostylians). Comparisons of the Jehol functional diversity with modern and subfossil avian assemblages show that taphonomic bias alone cannot explain the ecomorphological impoverishment. However, evolutionary simulations suggest that the constrained ecological diversity of the Early Cretaceous pygostylians is consistent with what is expected from a relatively young radiation. Regardless of the proximate biological explanation, the anomalously low functional diversity of the Jehol birds is evidence both for ecological vacancies in Cretaceous ecosystems, which were subsequently filled by the radiation of crown Aves, and for discordance between taxonomic richness and ecological diversity in the best-known Mesozoic ecosystem. PMID:24870044

  7. Cretaceous Cogollo Group study - District Zulia Occidental

    SciTech Connect

    Lagazzi, R.; D`Antonio, G.; Hung, O.; Avila, A.

    1996-08-01

    The Cretaceous Cogollo Group, with over 1500 feet of platform carbonate and shale section, contains important oil accumulations in the west portion of the Maracaibo basin. However, after discovery of the major oil fields, all subsequent exploration and exploitation efforts led to disappointing results. This paper summarizes the study of the Cogollo Group in the Lake Maracaibo West Coast area, where light Cretaceous oil may have an impact on the total reserves. After integrating the Cogollo Group into the regional framework, the study focuses on the District Zulia Occidental, where over 40 deep wells either penetrated or tested the reservoir. Structural and stratigraphic descriptions are enriched by a significant amount of core and petrophysical data that leads to a better understanding of the reservoir layering and pore geometry. Well production performance and reservoir data are incorporated to the study as additional tools to determine the size of the oil accumulations. Finally, the study addresses the possibility of drilling slant or horizontal wells as a way to reduce the number of dry holes or marginal producers.

  8. Low ecological disparity in Early Cretaceous birds

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological divergence is thought to be coupled with evolutionary radiations, yet the strength of this coupling is unclear. When birds diversified ecologically has received much less attention than their hotly debated crown divergence time. Here, we quantify how accurately skeletal morphology can predict ecology in living and extinct birds, and show that the earliest known assemblage of birds (= pygostylians) from the Jehol Biota (≈ 125 Ma) was substantially impoverished ecologically. The Jehol avifauna has few representatives of highly preservable ecomorphs (e.g. aquatic forms) and a notable lack of ecomorphological overlap with the pterosaur assemblage (e.g. no large or aerially foraging pygostylians). Comparisons of the Jehol functional diversity with modern and subfossil avian assemblages show that taphonomic bias alone cannot explain the ecomorphological impoverishment. However, evolutionary simulations suggest that the constrained ecological diversity of the Early Cretaceous pygostylians is consistent with what is expected from a relatively young radiation. Regardless of the proximate biological explanation, the anomalously low functional diversity of the Jehol birds is evidence both for ecological vacancies in Cretaceous ecosystems, which were subsequently filled by the radiation of crown Aves, and for discordance between taxonomic richness and ecological diversity in the best-known Mesozoic ecosystem. PMID:24870044

  9. Evaluation of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during the Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Sung Kyung; Lee, Yong Il

    2012-04-01

    Studying the role of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (pCO2) regulating temperature during the Cretaceous is important to understand the evolution of the Cretaceous climate. However, the pCO2 variation during the Cretaceous remains uncertain. Here we present a new paleo-pCO2 variation record spanning the Barremian to Maastrichtian time. The new paleo-pCO2 calculations are based on analyses of pedogenic carbonate from the Gyeongsang Basin, Korea and data from the literature on pedogenic carbonates. Our results show that the mid-Cretaceous pCO2 levels were higher than those observed during the Early and the Late Cretaceous, and that the highest pCO2 was achieved between the Cenomanian and the Turonian. This pCO2 trend is in agreement with the paleotemperature records. Our results also show that three intervals of low pCO2 (< 400 ppmV) in the Early and the Late Cretaceous seem to be associated with climatic changes suggestive of glacial episodes. These results suggest that the Cretaceous climatic change was associated with pCO2 variations. Variations in the rate of outgassing caused by variations of oceanic crust production rate have been known as a major cause of the mid-Cretaceous warmth. However, our results show the discrepancy in the timing between the highest rate of oceanic crust production and the highest pCO2 levels during the mid-Cretaceous. We interpret that large subaerial volcanisms in the Caribbean and Madagascar Large Igneous Provinces were instrumental for providing additional CO2 to the atmosphere, resulting in the warmest mid-Cretaceous.

  10. Natural or Artificial? Habitat-Use by the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas

    PubMed Central

    Werry, Jonathan M.; Lee, Shing Y.; Lemckert, Charles J.; Otway, Nicholas M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite accelerated global population declines due to targeted and illegal fishing pressure for many top-level shark species, the impacts of coastal habitat modification have been largely overlooked. We present the first direct comparison of the use of natural versus artificial habitats for the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, an IUCN ‘Near-threatened’ species - one of the few truly euryhaline sharks that utilises natural rivers and estuaries as nursery grounds before migrating offshore as adults. Understanding the value of alternate artificial coastal habitats to the lifecycle of the bull shark is crucial for determining the impact of coastal development on this threatened but potentially dangerous species. Methodology/Findings We used longline surveys and long-term passive acoustic tracking of neonate and juvenile bull sharks to determine the ontogenetic value of natural and artificial habitats to bull sharks associated with the Nerang River and adjoining canals on the Gold Coast, Australia. Long-term movements of tagged sharks suggested a preference for the natural river over artificial habitat (canals). Neonates and juveniles spent the majority of their time in the upper tidal reaches of the Nerang River and undertook excursions into adjoining canals. Larger bull sharks ranged further and frequented the canals closer to the river mouth. Conclusions/Significance Our work suggests with increased destruction of natural habitats, artificial coastal habitat may become increasingly important to large juvenile bull sharks with associated risk of attack on humans. In this system, neonate and juvenile bull sharks utilised the natural and artificial habitats, but the latter was not the preferred habitat of neonates. The upper reaches of tidal rivers, often under significant modification pressure, serve as nursery sites for neonates. Analogous studies are needed in similar systems elsewhere to assess the spatial and temporal generality of this research

  11. Scale morphology and flexibility in the shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus and the blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus.

    PubMed

    Motta, Philip; Habegger, Maria Laura; Lang, Amy; Hueter, Robert; Davis, Jessica

    2012-10-01

    We quantified placoid scale morphology and flexibility in the shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus and the blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus. The shortfin mako shark has shorter scales than the blacktip shark. The majority of the shortfin mako shark scales have three longitudinal riblets with narrow spacing and shallow grooves. In comparison, the blacktip shark scales have five to seven longitudinal riblets with wider spacing and deeper grooves. Manual manipulation of the scales at 16 regions on the body and fins revealed a range of scale flexibility, from regions of nonerectable scales such as on the leading edge of the fins to highly erectable scales along the flank of the shortfin mako shark body. The flank scales of the shortfin mako shark can be erected to a greater angle than the flank scales of the blacktip shark. The shortfin mako shark has a region of highly flexible scales on the lateral flank that can be erected to at least 50°. The scales of the two species are anchored in the stratum laxum of the dermis. The attachment fibers of the scales in both species appear to be almost exclusively collagen, with elastin fibers visible in the stratum laxum of both species. The most erectable scales of the shortfin mako shark have long crowns and relatively short bases that are wider than long. The combination of a long crown length to short base length facilitates pivoting of the scales. Erection of flank scales and resulting drag reduction is hypothesized to be passively driven by localized flow patterns over the skin. PMID:22730019

  12. Foraging mode of the grey reef shark, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, under two different scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robbins, W. D.; Renaud, P.

    2016-03-01

    Knowledge of an animal's predatory interactions provides insight into its ecological role. Until now, investigation of reef shark predation has relied on artificial stimuli to facilitate feeding events, with few sightings of natural predation events. Here we document two different foraging modes of the grey reef shark, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (f. Carcharhinidae), recorded without the influence of baits or burley. The first mode saw an aggregation of sharks targeting a morning mass spawning event of marbled grouper (f. Serranidae). We observed 120 separate grouper spawns over a 104-min period. Detailed analysis of 52 spawns showed an average of five groupers and 2.7 sharks involved in each spawn, with sharks usually on site within 1.29 s of spawn initiation. The success rate of investigating sharks was relatively low (8.1 %), and conspecific competition, rather than cooperative behaviour, was repeatedly observed among sharks. The second foraging mode documented was the nocturnal predation of individual fishes in the same reef pass 2 weeks later. Here, 128 separate fish pursuits were observed, with fusiliers (f. Caesionidae) comprising 88 % of targeted individuals. Multiple sharks usually investigated each fish, with over 300 interaction events recorded. Over 100 bite attempts were observed, and again the rate of predation was low, with fish taken in only 5.3 % of investigations (16 % of attempted bites). Our findings show that grey reef sharks naturally prey on species across a range of trophic levels, employing foraging techniques optimised for prey species and circumstance. Although a high-order mesopredator, the low rates of predation success observed suggest that grey reef sharks may have limited direct impact on lower-trophic-order species; however, this remains to be verified.

  13. Quantifying movement patterns for shark conservation at remote coral atolls in the Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Field, I. C.; Meekan, M. G.; Speed, C. W.; White, W.; Bradshaw, C. J. A.

    2011-03-01

    Grey reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) are apex predators found on many Indo-Pacific coral reefs, but little is known about their movement patterns and habitat requirements. We used acoustic telemetry to determine movements and habitat use of these sharks at the isolated Rowley Shoals atolls, 250 km off the coast of north-western Australia. We equipped 12 male and 14 female sharks ranging from 0.79 to 1.69 m in total length with transmitters that were detected by an array of 11 strategically placed receivers on two atoll reefs. Over 26,000 detections were recorded over the 325 days of receiver deployment. No sharks were observed to move between reefs. Receivers on the outer slopes of reefs provided nearly all (99%) of the detections. We found no differences in general attendance parameters due to size, sex or reef, except for maximum period of detection where larger sharks were detected over a longer period than smaller sharks. Male and female sharks were often detected at separate receivers at the outer slope habitat of one reef, suggesting sexual segregation, but this pattern did not occur at the second reef where males and females were detected at similar frequencies. We identified two patterns of daily behaviour: (1) sharks were present at the reef both day and night or (2) sharks spent more time in attendance during day than at night. Fast Fourier transforms identified 24-h cycles of attendance at the reef and a secondary peak of attendance at 12 h for most sharks, although no individuals shared the same attendance patterns. Our study provides baseline data that can be used to optimise the minimum area and habitat requirements for conservation of these apex predators.

  14. Shark fisheries in the Southeast Pacific: A 61-year analysis from Peru

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Pestana, Adriana; Kouri J., Carlos; Velez-Zuazo, Ximena

    2016-01-01

    Peruvian waters exhibit high conservation value for sharks. This contrasts with a lag in initiatives for their management and a lack of studies about their biology, ecology and fishery. We investigated the dynamics of Peruvian shark fishery and its legal framework identifying information gaps for recommending actions to improve management. Further, we investigated the importance of the Peruvian shark fishery from a regional perspective. From 1950 to 2010, 372,015 tons of sharks were landed in Peru. From 1950 to 1969, we detected a significant increase in landings; but from 2000 to 2011 there was a significant decrease in landings, estimated at 3.5% per year. Six species represented 94% of landings: blue shark ( Prionace glauca), shortfin mako ( Isurus oxyrinchus), smooth hammerhead ( Sphyrna zygaena), common thresher ( Alopias vulpinus), smooth-hound ( Mustelus whitneyi) and angel shark ( Squatina californica). Of these, the angel shark exhibits a strong and significant decrease in landings: 18.9% per year from 2000 to 2010. Peru reports the highest accumulated historical landings in the Pacific Ocean; but its contribution to annual landings has decreased since 1968. Still, Peru is among the top 12 countries exporting shark fins to the Hong Kong market. Although the government collects total weight by species, the number of specimens landed as well as population parameters (e.g. sex, size and weight) are not reported. Further, for some genera, species-level identification is deficient and so overestimates the biomass landed by species and underestimates the species diversity. Recently, regional efforts to regulate shark fishery have been implemented to support the conservation of sharks but in Peru work remains to be done.

  15. Reef-Fidelity and Migration of Tiger Sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea

    PubMed Central

    Werry, Jonathan M.; Planes, Serge; Berumen, Michael L.; Lee, Kate A.; Braun, Camrin D.; Clua, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark–human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km3. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a

  16. Residency, Habitat Use and Sexual Segregation of White Sharks, Carcharodon carcharias in False Bay, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Kock, Alison; O’Riain, M. Justin; Mauff, Katya; Meÿer, Michael; Kotze, Deon; Griffiths, Charles

    2013-01-01

    White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are threatened apex predators and identification of their critical habitats and how these are used are essential to ensuring improved local and ultimately global white shark protection. In this study we investigated habitat use by white sharks in False Bay, South Africa, using acoustic telemetry. 56 sharks (39 female, 17 male), ranging in size from 1.7–5 m TL, were tagged with acoustic transmitters and monitored on an array of 30 receivers for 975 days. To investigate the effects of season, sex and size on habitat use we used a generalized linear mixed effects model. Tagged sharks were detected in the Bay in all months and across all years, but their use of the Bay varied significantly with the season and the sex of the shark. In autumn and winter males and females aggregated around the Cape fur seal colony at Seal Island, where they fed predominantly on young of the year seals. In spring and summer there was marked sexual segregation, with females frequenting the Inshore areas and males seldom being detected. The shift from the Island in autumn and winter to the Inshore region in spring and summer by females mirrors the seasonal peak in abundance of juvenile seals and of migratory teleost and elasmobranch species respectively. This study provides the first evidence of sexual segregation at a fine spatial scale and demonstrates that sexual segregation in white sharks is not restricted to adults, but is apparent for juveniles and sub-adults too. Overall, the results confirm False Bay as a critical area for white shark conservation as both sexes, across a range of sizes, frequent the Bay on an annual basis. The finding that female sharks aggregate in the Inshore regions when recreational use peaks highlights the need for ongoing shark-human conflict mitigation strategies. PMID:23383052

  17. Identification and evaluation of shark bycatch in Georgia’s commercial shrimp trawl fishery with implications for management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belcher, C.N.; Jennings, Cecil A.

    2011-01-01

    Many US states have recreational and commercial fisheries that occur in nursery areas occupied by subadult sharks and can potentially affect their survival. Georgia is one of few US states without a directed commercial shark fishery, but the state has a large, nearshore penaeid shrimp trawl fishery in which small sharks occur as bycatch. During our 1995-1998 investigation of bycatch in fishery-dependent sampling events, 34% of 127 trawls contained sharks. This bycatch totalled 217 individuals from six species, with Atlantic sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae (Richardson), the most common and finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon (Müller & Henle) and spinner shark, Carcharhinus brevipinna (Müller & Henle), the least common. The highest catch rates for sharks occurred during June and July and coincided with the peak months of the pupping season for many species. Trawl tow speed and tow time did not significantly influence catch rates for shark species. Gear configurations [net type, turtle excluder device (TED), bycatch reduction device] affected catch rates for shark species. Results of this study indicate gear restrictions, a delayed season opening, or reduced bar spacing on TEDs may reduce shark bycatch in this fishery.

  18. Long-term natal site-fidelity by immature lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) at a subtropical island.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Demian D; Babcock, Elizabeth A; Gruber, Samuel H; Dibattista, Joseph D; Franks, Bryan R; Kessel, Steven A; Guttridge, Tristan; Pikitch, Ellen K; Feldheim, Kevin A

    2009-08-01

    Although many sharks begin their life confined in nursery habitats, it is unknown how rapidly they disperse away from their natal area once they leave the nursery. We examine this issue in immature lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) from the time they leave the nursery (approximately age 3) at a subtropical island (Bimini, Bahamas), through to the onset of sexual maturity (approximately age 12). From 1995 to 2007 we tagged and genotyped a large fraction of the nursery-bound sharks at this location (0-3 years of age, N = 1776 individuals). From 2003 to 2007 we sampled immature sharks aged from 3 to 11 years (N = 150) living around the island and used physical/genetic tag recaptures coupled with kinship analysis to determine whether or not each of these 'large immature sharks' was locally born. We show that many island-born lemon sharks remain close to their natal area for long periods (years) after leaving the nursery; more than half of the sampled sharks up to 135 cm total length ( approximately 6 years old) were locally born. The fraction of locally born sharks gradually declined with increasing shark size, indicating that dispersal is relatively slow and does not primarily occur after sharks reach a threshold size. Local conservation measures (e.g. localized fishery closures, marine protected areas) can therefore help protect island-born lemon sharks even after they leave the nursery habitat. PMID:19659480

  19. Multi-Year Impacts of Ecotourism on Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) Visitation at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

    PubMed Central

    Sanzogni, R. L.; Meekan, M. G.; Meeuwig, J. J.

    2015-01-01

    In-water viewing of sharks by tourists has become a popular and lucrative industry. There is some concern that interactions with tourists with ecotourism operations might harm sharks through disruption of behaviours. Here, we analysed five years of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounter data by an ecotourism industry at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to assess the impact of ecotourism interactions on shark visitation, within the context of the biological and physical oceanography of the region. Our data base consisted of 2823 encounter records for 951 individual whale sharks collected by ecotourism operators between 2007 and 2011. We found that total encounters per whale shark and encounters per boat trip increased through time. On average, whale sharks re-encountered in subsequent years were encountered earlier, stayed longer and tended to be encountered more often within a season than sharks that were only encountered in a single year. Sequential comparisons between years did not show any patterns consistent with disturbance and the rate of departure of whale sharks from the aggregation was negatively correlated to the number of operator trips. Overall, our analysis of this multi-year data base found no evidence that interactions with tourists affected the likelihood of whale shark re-encounters and that instead, physical and biological environmental factors had a far greater influence on whale shark visitation rates. Our approach provides a template for assessing the effects of ecotourism interactions and environmental factors on the visitation patterns of marine megafauna over multiple years. PMID:26398338

  20. Multi-Year Impacts of Ecotourism on Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) Visitation at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Sanzogni, R L; Meekan, M G; Meeuwig, J J

    2015-01-01

    In-water viewing of sharks by tourists has become a popular and lucrative industry. There is some concern that interactions with tourists with ecotourism operations might harm sharks through disruption of behaviours. Here, we analysed five years of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounter data by an ecotourism industry at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to assess the impact of ecotourism interactions on shark visitation, within the context of the biological and physical oceanography of the region. Our data base consisted of 2823 encounter records for 951 individual whale sharks collected by ecotourism operators between 2007 and 2011. We found that total encounters per whale shark and encounters per boat trip increased through time. On average, whale sharks re-encountered in subsequent years were encountered earlier, stayed longer and tended to be encountered more often within a season than sharks that were only encountered in a single year. Sequential comparisons between years did not show any patterns consistent with disturbance and the rate of departure of whale sharks from the aggregation was negatively correlated to the number of operator trips. Overall, our analysis of this multi-year data base found no evidence that interactions with tourists affected the likelihood of whale shark re-encounters and that instead, physical and biological environmental factors had a far greater influence on whale shark visitation rates. Our approach provides a template for assessing the effects of ecotourism interactions and environmental factors on the visitation patterns of marine megafauna over multiple years. PMID:26398338

  1. Re-Creating Missing Population Baselines for Pacific Reef Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Nadon, Marc O; Baum, Julia K; Williams, Ivor D; Mcpherson, Jana M; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Richards, Benjamin L; Schroeder, Robert E; Brainard, Russell E

    2012-01-01

    Summary Abstract Sharks and other large predators are scarce on most coral reefs, but studies of their historical ecology provide qualitative evidence that predators were once numerous in these ecosystems. Quantifying density of sharks in the absence of humans (baseline) is, however, hindered by a paucity of pertinent time-series data. Recently researchers have used underwater visual surveys, primarily of limited spatial extent or nonstandard design, to infer negative associations between reef shark abundance and human populations. We analyzed data from 1607 towed-diver surveys (>1 ha transects surveyed by observers towed behind a boat) conducted at 46 reefs in the central-western Pacific Ocean, reefs that included some of the world's most pristine coral reefs. Estimates of shark density from towed-diver surveys were substantially lower (<10%) than published estimates from surveys along small transects (<0.02 ha), which is not consistent with inverted biomass pyramids (predator biomass greater than prey biomass) reported by other researchers for pristine reefs. We examined the relation between the density of reef sharks observed in towed-diver surveys and human population in models that accounted for the influence of oceanic primary productivity, sea surface temperature, reef area, and reef physical complexity. We used these models to estimate the density of sharks in the absence of humans. Densities of gray reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos), whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus), and the group “all reef sharks” increased substantially as human population decreased and as primary productivity and minimum sea surface temperature (or reef area, which was highly correlated with temperature) increased. Simulated baseline densities of reef sharks under the absence of humans were 1.1–2.4/ha for the main Hawaiian Islands, 1.2–2.4/ha for inhabited islands of American Samoa, and 0.9–2.1/ha for inhabited islands in the Mariana Archipelago, which suggests

  2. Late Cretaceous restructuring of terrestrial communities facilitated the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in North America

    PubMed Central

    Roopnarine, Peter D.; Angielczyk, Kenneth D.

    2012-01-01

    The sudden environmental catastrophe in the wake of the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact had drastic effects that rippled through animal communities. To explore how these effects may have been exacerbated by prior ecological changes, we used a food-web model to simulate the effects of primary productivity disruptions, such as those predicted to result from an asteroid impact, on ten Campanian and seven Maastrichtian terrestrial localities in North America. Our analysis documents that a shift in trophic structure between Campanian and Maastrichtian communities in North America led Maastrichtian communities to experience more secondary extinction at lower levels of primary production shutdown and possess a lower collapse threshold than Campanian communities. Of particular note is the fact that changes in dinosaur richness had a negative impact on the robustness of Maastrichtian ecosystems against environmental perturbations. Therefore, earlier ecological restructuring may have exacerbated the impact and severity of the end-Cretaceous extinction, at least in North America. PMID:23112149

  3. Late Cretaceous restructuring of terrestrial communities facilitated the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Roopnarine, Peter D.; Angielczyk, Kenneth D.

    2012-11-01

    The sudden environmental catastrophe in the wake of the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact had drastic effects that rippled through animal communities. To explore how these effects may have been exacerbated by prior ecological changes, we used a food-web model to simulate the effects of primary productivity disruptions, such as those predicted to result from an asteroid impact, on ten Campanian and seven Maastrichtian terrestrial localities in North America. Our analysis documents that a shift in trophic structure between Campanian and Maastrichtian communities in North America led Maastrichtian communities to experience more secondary extinction at lower levels of primary production shutdown and possess a lower collapse threshold than Campanian communities. Of particular note is the fact that changes in dinosaur richness had a negative impact on the robustness of Maastrichtian ecosystems against environmental perturbations. Therefore, earlier ecological restructuring may have exacerbated the impact and severity of the end-Cretaceous extinction, at least in North America.

  4. Climate-mediated diversification of turtles in the Cretaceous

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, David B.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Benson, Roger B. J.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2015-01-01

    Chelonians are ectothermic, with an extensive fossil record preserved in diverse palaeoenvironmental settings: consequently, they represent excellent models for investigating organismal response to long-term environmental change. We present the first Mesozoic chelonian taxic richness curve, subsampled to remove geological/collection biases, and demonstrate that their palaeolatitudinal distributions were climate mediated. At the Jurassic/Cretaceous transition, marine taxa exhibit minimal diversity change, whereas non-marine diversity increases. A Late Cretaceous peak in ‘global' non-marine subsampled richness coincides with high palaeolatitude occurrences and the Cretaceous thermal maximum (CTM): however, this peak also records increased geographic sampling and is not recovered in continental-scale diversity patterns. Nevertheless, a model-detrended richness series (insensitive to geographic sampling) also recovers a Late Cretaceous peak, suggesting genuine geographic range expansion among non-marine turtles during the CTM. Increased Late Cretaceous diversity derives from intensive North American sampling, but subsampling indicates that Early Cretaceous European/Asian diversity may have exceeded that of Late Cretaceous North America. PMID:26234913

  5. Cretaceous-Tertiary findings, paradigms and problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Officer, C. B.; Drake, C. L.

    1988-01-01

    The asteroid hypothesis has stimulated numerous studies of the paleontological record at Cretaceous/Tertiary time as well as of geological indicators of environmental crisis preserved in the rock record. Both extinctions and geological anomalies often occur at times that do not appear to be synchronous or instantaneous. The record includes paleontological indicators of dinosaurs, terrestrial flora, marine planktonic organisms, and shallow water marine macrofauna and geological phenomena include occurrences of iridium and other platinum metals, trace elements, clay mineralogy, shocked minerals, soot, microspherules, and isotopes of osmium, strontium and carbon. These findings are reviewed in the context of the alternate hypotheses of an exogenic cause, involving either a single asteroid impact or multiple commentary impacts, and an endogenic cause, involving intense global volcanism and major sea level regression.

  6. Evidence of Maternal Offloading of Organic Contaminants in White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias)

    PubMed Central

    Mull, Christopher G.; Lyons, Kady; Blasius, Mary E.; Winkler, Chuck; O’Sullivan, John B.; Lowe, Christopher G.

    2013-01-01

    Organic contaminants were measured in young of the year (YOY) white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) incidentally caught in southern California between 2005 and 2012 (n = 20) and were found to be unexpectedly high considering the young age and dietary preferences of young white sharks, suggesting these levels may be due to exposure in utero. To assess the potential contributions of dietary exposure to the observed levels, a five-parameter bioaccumulation model was used to estimate the total loads a newborn shark would potentially accumulate in one year from consuming contaminated prey from southern California. Maximum simulated dietary accumulation of DDTs and PCBs were 25.1 and 4.73 µg/g wet weight (ww) liver, respectively. Observed ΣDDT and ΣPCB concentrations (95±91 µg/g and 16±10 µg/g ww, respectively) in a majority of YOY sharks were substantially higher than the model predictions suggesting an additional source of contaminant exposure beyond foraging. Maternal offloading of organic contaminants during reproduction has been noted in other apex predators, but this is the first evidence of transfer in a matrotrophic shark. While there are signs of white shark population recovery in the eastern Pacific, the long-term physiological and population level consequences of biomagnification and maternal offloading of environmental contaminants in white sharks is unclear. PMID:23646154

  7. Global pattern of phylogenetic species composition of shark and its conservation priority.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hungyen; Kishino, Hirohisa

    2015-10-01

    The diversity of marine communities is in striking contrast with the diversity of terrestrial communities. In all oceans, species richness is low in tropical areas and high at latitudes between 20 and 40°. While species richness is a primary metric used in conservation and management strategies, it is important to take into account the complex phylogenetic patterns of species compositions within communities. We measured the phylogenetic skew and diversity of shark communities throughout the world. We found that shark communities in tropical seas were highly phylogenetically skewed, whereas temperate sea communities had phylogenetically diversified species compositions. Interestingly, although geographically distant from one another, tropical sea communities were all highly skewed toward requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae), hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidae), and whale sharks (Rhincodon typus). Worldwide, the greatest phylogenetic evenness in terms of clades was found in the North Sea and coastal regions of countries in temperate zones, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, southern Australia, and Chile. This study is the first to examine patterns of phylogenetic diversity of shark communities on a global scale. Our findings suggest that when establishing conservation activities, it is important to take full account of phylogenetic patterns of species composition and not solely use species richness as a target. Protecting areas of high phylogenetic diversity in sharks, which were identified in this study, could form a broader strategy for protecting other threatened marine species. PMID:26819704

  8. Biological aspects of sharks caught off the Coast of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fischer, A F; Hazin, F H V; Carvalho, F; Viana, D L; Rêgo, M G; Wor, C

    2009-11-01

    One hundred seventeen specimens of sharks were caught along the coast of Pernambuco State, Northern Brazil, between May 2004 and May 2007, among which 86 were blacknose sharks, Carcharhinus acronotus, enabling a more detailed study of the species. Blacknose sharks were caught in the 2 study areas along the Boa Viagem/Piedade and Paiva beaches, accounting for the highest relative abundance among the species caught (73.5% of total). Potentially dangerous sharks, tiger and bull sharks, were also caught in the same areas, whereas hammerhead and blacktip sharks were only captured off Boa Viagem/Piedade. Concerning the blacknose shark, the total length (TL) ranged from 39.0 to 180.0 cm. Among the 38 females analysed, 32 were juveniles, 11 were maturing, 2 were pre-ovulatory and 21 were pregnant. Sexing was possible for 75 of the 83 embryos, 38 of which were males and 37 were females, with a sex proportion of 1:0.9 and total length ranging between 6.4 and 63.5 cm. Ovarian fecundity ranged from 5 to 10 and uterine fecundity from 1 to 3, with an estimated gestational period of 9 months. Among the 48 males, 6 were juveniles and 42 were adults. Both males and females seem to reach sexual maturity at about 105.0 cm TL. Among the 86 stomachs analysed, only 22.1% had contents, with teleosts as the most frequent item. PMID:19967190

  9. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in Shark Fins

    PubMed Central

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2012-01-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. PMID:22412816

  10. Cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in shark fins.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A; Mash, Deborah C

    2012-02-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. PMID:22412816

  11. Mechanical challenges to freshwater residency in sharks and rays.

    PubMed

    Gleiss, Adrian C; Potvin, Jean; Keleher, James J; Whitty, Jeff M; Morgan, David L; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2015-04-01

    Major transitions between marine and freshwater habitats are relatively infrequent, primarily as a result of major physiological and ecological challenges. Few species of cartilaginous fish have evolved to occupy freshwater habitats. Current thought suggests that the metabolic physiology of sharks has remained a barrier to the diversification of this taxon in freshwater ecosystems. Here, we demonstrate that the physical properties of water provide an additional constraint for this species-rich group to occupy freshwater systems. Using hydromechanical modeling, we show that occurrence in fresh water results in a two- to three-fold increase in negative buoyancy for sharks and rays. This carries the energetic cost of lift production and results in increased buoyancy-dependent mechanical power requirements for swimming and increased optimal swim speeds. The primary source of buoyancy, the lipid-rich liver, offers only limited compensation for increased negative buoyancy as a result of decreasing water density; maintaining the same submerged weight would involve increasing the liver volume by very large amounts: 3- to 4-fold in scenarios where liver density is also reduced to currently observed minimal levels and 8-fold without any changes in liver density. The first data on body density from two species of elasmobranch occurring in freshwater (the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, Müller and Henle 1839, and the largetooth sawfish Pristis pristis, Linnaeus 1758) support this hypothesis, showing similar liver sizes as marine forms but lower liver densities, but the greatest negative buoyancies of any elasmobranch studied to date. Our data suggest that the mechanical challenges associated with buoyancy control may have hampered the invasion of freshwater habitats in elasmobranchs, highlighting an additional key factor that may govern the predisposition of marine organisms to successfully establish in freshwater habitats. PMID:25573824

  12. Constructional morphology within the head of hammerhead sharks (sphyrnidae).

    PubMed

    Mara, Kyle R; Motta, Philip J; Martin, Andrew P; Hueter, Robert E

    2015-05-01

    The study of functional trade-offs is important if a structure, such as the cranium, serves multiple biological roles, and is, therefore, shaped by multiple selective pressures. The sphyrnid cephalofoil presents an excellent model for investigating potential trade-offs among sensory, neural, and feeding structures. In this study, hammerhead shark species were chosen to represent differences in head form through phylogeny. A combination of surface-based geometric morphometrics, computed tomography (CT) volumetric analysis, and phylogenetic analyses were utilized to investigate potential trade-offs within the head. Hammerhead sharks display a diversity of cranial morphologies where the position of the eyes and nares vary among species, with only minor changes in shape, position, and volume of the feeding apparatus through phylogeny. The basal winghead shark, Eusphyra blochii, has small anteriorly positioned eyes. Through phylogeny, the relative size and position of the eyes change, such that derived species have larger, more medially positioned eyes. The lateral position of the external nares is highly variable, showing no phylogenetic trend. Mouth size and position are conserved, remaining relatively unchanged. Volumetric CT analyses reveal no trade-offs between the feeding apparatus and the remaining cranial structures. The few trade-offs were isolated to the nasal capsule volume's inverse correlation with braincase, chondrocranial, and total cephalofoil volume. Eye volume also decreased as cephalofoil width increased. These data indicate that despite considerable changes in head shape, much of the head is morphologically conserved through sphyrnid phylogeny, particularly the jaw cartilages and their associated feeding muscles, with shape change and morphological trade-offs being primarily confined to the lateral wings of the cephalofoil and their associated sensory structures. PMID:25684106

  13. Function of dorsal fins in bamboo shark during steady swimming.

    PubMed

    Maia, Anabela; Wilga, Cheryl A

    2013-08-01

    To gain insight into the function of the dorsal fins in white-spotted bamboo sharks (Orectolobiformes: Hemiscyillidae) during steady swimming, data on three-dimensional kinematics and electromyographic recordings were collected. Bamboo sharks were induced to swim at 0.5 and 0.75 body lengths per second in a laminar flow tank. Displacement, lag and angles were analyzed from high-speed video images. Onset, offset, duration, duty cycle and asynchrony index were calculated from three muscle implants on each side of each dorsal fin. The dorsal fins were displaced more laterally than the undulating body. In addition, the dorsal tips had larger lateral displacement than the trailing edges. Increased speed was accompanied by an increase in tail beat frequency with constant tail beat amplitude. However, lateral displacement of the fins and duration of muscle bursts remained relatively constant with increased speed. The range of lateral motion was greater for the second dorsal fin (mean 33.3°) than for the first dorsal fin (mean 28.4°). Bending within the fin was greater for the second dorsal fin (mean 43.8°) than for the first dorsal fin (mean 30.8°). Muscle onset and offset among implants on the same side of each dorsal fin was similar. Three-dimensional conformation of the dorsal fins was caused by interactions between muscle activity, material properties, and incident flow. Alternating bilateral activity occurred in both dorsal fins, further supporting the active role of these hydrofoils in thrust production during steady swimming. The dorsal fins in bamboo sharks are capable of thrust production during steady swimming and do not appear to function as stabilizing structures. PMID:23830781

  14. Latest Cretaceous sedimentation on Peninsular Ranges block

    SciTech Connect

    Abbott, P.L.

    1986-04-01

    The Peninsular Ranges block is dominated by a Late Jurassic-middle Cretaceous batholithic belt that extends from the Santa Ana Mountains in southern California southward through the state of Baja California. From paleomagnetic evidence, the block appears to have moved north about 11/sup 0/ with respect to the North American craton since the Late Cretaceous. The Campanian-Maestrichtian sedimentary record along the western side of the block shows that sedimentation occurred contemporaneously with faulting. Dominantly coarse sediments were stripped off the batholithic complex, carried westward relatively short distances, and deposited in alluvial-fan, fluvial, fan-delta, and shelf environments as well as in submarine fans built into local, fault-created basins. The Peninsular Ranges block apparently moved northward in response to oblique subduction of the Farallon plate; it seemingly rode along on a reasonably even keel as transcurrent faulting wrenched pieces off its western side. The steady keel allowed the sedimentary record to reflect eustatic changes. Along the west side of the Peninsular Ranges block, the Campanian column typically has a retrogradational sequence lower in the section that is overlain by a progradational sequence. This pattern holds for the Santa Ana Mountains, San Diego, California, and Descanso, Salsipuedes, and El Rosario, Baja California. Eustatic sea level changes left a dominant imprint on the entire stratigraphic column, although local facies may be distinctly different because basins were created by contemporaneous faulting. The fault basins may have had a borderland-style topography, judging from their relatively small size, discontinuous and sporadic development, and apparently linear margins.

  15. Geography of cretaceous extinctions: Data base development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1991-01-01

    Data bases built from the source literature are plagued by problems of data quality. Unless the data acquisition is done by experts, working slowly, the data base may contain so much garbage that true signals and patterns cannot be detected. On the other hand, high quality data bases develop so slowly that satisfactory statistical analysis may never be possible due to the small sample sizes. Results of a test are presented of the opposite strategy: rapid data acquisition by non-experts with minimal control on data quality. A published list of 186 species and genera of fossil invertibrates of the latest Cretaceous Age (Maestrichtian) were located through a random search of the paleobiological and geological literature. The geographic location for each faunal list was then transformed electronically to Maestrichtian latitude and longitude and the lists were further digested to identify the genera occurring in each ten-degree, latitude-longitude block. The geographical lists were clustered using the Otsuka similarity coefficient and a standard unweight-pair-group method. The resulting clusters are remarkably consistent geographically, indicating that a strong biogeographic signal is visible despite low-quality data. A further test evaluated the geographic pattern of end-Cretaceaous extinctions. All genera in the data base were compared with Sepkoski's compendium of time ranges of genera to determine which of the reported genera survived the Cretaceous mass extinction. In turn, extinction rates for the ten-degree, latitude-longitude blocks were mapped. The resulting distribution is readily interpretable as a robust pattern of the geography of the mass extinction. The study demonstrates that a low-quality data base, built rapidly, can provide a basis for meaningful analysis of past biotic events.

  16. The Cretaceous Quiet Zone: How Quiet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, Y.; Dyment, J.; Kitazawa, M.; Bouligand, C.; Hoise, E.; Kim, M.; Savary, J.; Royer, J.; Choi-Dyment, Y.; Gotab, B.

    2005-12-01

    Geomagnetic field intensity variations deduced from magnetostratigraphic data are mainly restricted to the past few million years. As a consequence, many important questions, such as the long-term evolution of the geomagnetic field intensity and the temporal distribution of excursions, remain unsolved yet. The possibility to recover these fluctuations over a long time interval from marine magnetic anomalies is therefore of particular interest. Within the period documented by these anomalies, the Cretaceous Normal Superchron (CNS) presents a major interest in geomagnetism as little is known on the characteristics of the geomagnetic field during this event, except that it apparently did not reverse for about 35 Myr. Cruise Magofond 3 of R/V Suroit (July-August 2005) was dedicated to the CNS, with a target area on the Cretaceous Quiet Zone off Western Africa, on the eastern flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Both sea-surface and deep tow magnetic anomaly profiles have been collected. Magnetic observatory data from M'Bour (Senegal) and Guimar (Canary Islands) have been regularly transmitted to the ship in order to check for any external magnetic field disturbance which may have affected the data. In addition, seismic reflection data were acquired to insure that the observed anomalies are not caused by the basement topography and, eventually, to estimate and correct such an effect. Altogether, these data brings new constraints on the variability of the geomagnetic field during the superchron. As a preliminary result, they show the occurrence of several consistent short-wavelength magnetic anomalies which may be linked either to short reversed polarity intervals or to excursions. In particular, the ISEA reversed polarity subchron at the beginning of the CNS seems to be present in most profiles. Other observed anomalies may also depict subchrons and would therefore challenge the concept of a non-reversing geodynamo during the exceptionally long CNS.

  17. A conservative approach to parallelizing the Sharks World simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nicol, David M.; Riffe, Scott E.

    1990-01-01

    Parallelizing a benchmark problem for parallel simulation, the Sharks World, is described. The described solution is conservative, in the sense that no state information is saved, and no 'rollbacks' occur. The used approach illustrates both the principal advantage and principal disadvantage of conservative parallel simulation. The advantage is that by exploiting lookahead an approach was found that dramatically improves the serial execution time, and also achieves excellent speedups. The disadvantage is that if the model rules are changed in such a way that the lookahead is destroyed, it is difficult to modify the solution to accommodate the changes.

  18. F-5F Shark Nose radome lightning test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, G. W.

    1980-01-01

    A unique F-5F radome wtih a geometry similar to a Shark Nose profile was tested with a high voltage Marx generator, 1,200,000 volts in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the lightning protection system with currents from 5,000 amperes or greater. An edge discontinuity configuration is a characteristic feature in the forward region of the radome and occasionally serves as an attachment point. The results of nineteen attachment tests at various aspect angles with an air gap of one meter indicated that no damage occurred to the dielectric material of the radom. The test proved the effectiveness of the lightning protection system.

  19. The complete mitochondrial DNA of the silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis).

    PubMed

    Galván-Tirado, Carolina; Hinojosa-Alvarez, Silvia; Diaz-Jaimes, Pindaro; Marcet-Houben, Marina; García-De-León, Francisco J

    2016-01-01

    The silky shark mitogenome (GeneBank accession number KF801102) has a total length of 17,774 bp, the base composition of the genomes was as follows: A (31.36%), T (30.18%), C (25.27%) and G (13.17%), which demonstrated an A + T-rich feature (61.64%), similar to other elasmobranch mitogenomes. The mitochondrial genome contained 13 protein-coding genes and 23 tRNA genes. The tRNA genes ranged from 70 to 72 bp. The gene order was the same as in other vertebrates and teleosts. PMID:24450712

  20. Complete mitogenome of the Graceful Shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchoides (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae).

    PubMed

    Feutry, Pierre; Pillans, Richard D; Kyne, Peter M; Chen, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    In this manuscript we describe the first complete mitochondrial sequence for the Near Threatened Graceful Shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchoides. It is 16,705 bp in length, consists of two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes and one control region with the typical gene arrangement pattern and translate orientation in vertebrates. The overall base composition is 31.4% A, 25.1% C, 13.2% G and 30.3% T. The shortest tRNA-Ser2 cannot fold into a clover-leaf secondary structure due to the lack of the dihydrouridine arm. PMID:24617479

  1. The complete mitochondrial DNA of the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).

    PubMed

    Diaz-Jaimes, Pindaro; Uribe-Alcocer, Manuel; Hinojosa-Alvarez, Silvia; Sandoval-Laurrabaquio, Nadia; Adams, Douglas H; García De León, Francisco J

    2016-01-01

    The bull shark mitochondrial structure is similar to that of other elasmobranchs; it has a total length of 16,100 bp, the base composition of the genomes was as follows: A (31.35%), T (31.35%), C (24.38%) and G (12.90%). It contains 13 protein-coding genes and 23 tRNA genes. The tRNA genes range from 70-72 bp. Gene order is the same as in other vertebrates and teleosts. PMID:24810063

  2. Dielectric properties of gel collected from shark electrosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Mary E.; Brown, Brandon R.; Hutchison, John C.; Murray, Royce W.

    2003-03-01

    To investigate the physical mechanism of the electric sense, we present an initial characterization of the dielectric properties of the glycoprotein gel that fills the electrosensitive organs of marine elasmobranches (sharks, skates, and rays). To ascertain the properties of the gel, low-frequency impedance spectroscopy is used. The impedance data collected from a dialyzed sample show large values of static permittivity and a loss peak corresponding to a long relaxation time (about 1 ms). Impedance measurements of the native (nondialyzed) gel reliable to 0.1 Hz will be presented and compared to the dialyzed gel. Ramifications of the gel's dielectric properties for the electric sense will be explored.

  3. Extreme Inverted Trophic Pyramid of Reef Sharks Supported by Spawning Groupers.

    PubMed

    Mourier, Johann; Maynard, Jeffrey; Parravicini, Valeriano; Ballesta, Laurent; Clua, Eric; Domeier, Michael L; Planes, Serge

    2016-08-01

    The extent of the global human footprint [1] limits our understanding of what is natural in the marine environment. Remote, near-pristine areas provide some baseline expectations for biomass [2, 3] and suggest that predators dominate, producing an inverted biomass pyramid. The southern pass of Fakarava atoll-a biosphere reserve in French Polynesia-hosts an average of 600 reef sharks, two to three times the biomass per hectare documented for any other reef shark aggregations [4]. This huge biomass of predators makes the trophic pyramid inverted. Bioenergetics models indicate that the sharks require ∼90 tons of fish per year, whereas the total fish production in the pass is ∼17 tons per year. Energetic theory shows that such trophic structure is maintained through subsidies [5-9], and empirical evidence suggests that sharks must engage in wide-ranging foraging excursions to meet energy needs [9, 10]. We used underwater surveys and acoustic telemetry to assess shark residency in the pass and feeding behavior and used bioenergetics models to understand energy flow. Contrary to previous findings, our results highlight that sharks may overcome low local energy availability by feeding on fish spawning aggregations, which concentrate energy from other local trophic pyramids. Fish spawning aggregations are known to be targeted by sharks, but they were previously believed to play a minor role representing occasional opportunistic supplements. This research demonstrates that fish spawning aggregations can play a significant role in the maintenance of local inverted pyramids in pristine marine areas. Conservation of fish spawning aggregations can help conserve shark populations, especially if combined with shark fishing bans. PMID:27476598

  4. Early-life exposure to climate change impairs tropical shark survival

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Rui; Baptista, Miguel; Lopes, Vanessa M.; Pegado, Maria Rita; Ricardo Paula, José; Trübenbach, Katja; Leal, Miguel Costa; Calado, Ricardo; Repolho, Tiago

    2014-01-01

    Sharks are one of the most threatened groups of marine animals worldwide, mostly owing to overfishing and habitat degradation/loss. Although these cartilaginous fish have evolved to fill many ecological niches across a wide range of habitats, they have limited capability to rapidly adapt to human-induced changes in their environments. Contrary to global warming, ocean acidification was not considered as a direct climate-related threat to sharks. Here we show, for the first time, that an early ontogenetic acclimation process of a tropical shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) to the projected scenarios of ocean acidification (ΔpH = 0.5) and warming (+4°C; 30°C) for 2100 elicited significant impairments on juvenile shark condition and survival. The mortality of shark embryos at the present-day thermal scenarios was 0% both at normocapnic and hypercapnic conditions. Yet routine metabolic rates (RMRs) were significantly affected by temperature, pH and embryonic stage. Immediately after hatching, the Fulton condition of juvenile bamboo sharks was significantly different in individuals that experienced future warming and hypercapnia; 30 days after hatching, survival rapidly declined in individuals experiencing both ocean warming and acidification (up to 44%). The RMR of juvenile sharks was also significantly affected by temperature and pH. The impact of low pH on ventilation rates was significant only under the higher thermal scenario. This study highlights the need of experimental-based risk assessments of sharks to climate change. In other words, it is critical to directly assess risk and vulnerability of sharks to ocean acidification and warming, and such effort can ultimately help managers and policy-makers to take proactive measures targeting most endangered species. PMID:25209942

  5. Early-life exposure to climate change impairs tropical shark survival.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rui; Baptista, Miguel; Lopes, Vanessa M; Pegado, Maria Rita; Paula, José Ricardo; Trübenbach, Katja; Leal, Miguel Costa; Calado, Ricardo; Repolho, Tiago

    2014-10-22

    Sharks are one of the most threatened groups of marine animals worldwide, mostly owing to overfishing and habitat degradation/loss. Although these cartilaginous fish have evolved to fill many ecological niches across a wide range of habitats, they have limited capability to rapidly adapt to human-induced changes in their environments. Contrary to global warming, ocean acidification was not considered as a direct climate-related threat to sharks. Here we show, for the first time, that an early ontogenetic acclimation process of a tropical shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) to the projected scenarios of ocean acidification (ΔpH = 0.5) and warming (+4°C; 30°C) for 2100 elicited significant impairments on juvenile shark condition and survival. The mortality of shark embryos at the present-day thermal scenarios was 0% both at normocapnic and hypercapnic conditions. Yet routine metabolic rates (RMRs) were significantly affected by temperature, pH and embryonic stage. Immediately after hatching, the Fulton condition of juvenile bamboo sharks was significantly different in individuals that experienced future warming and hypercapnia; 30 days after hatching, survival rapidly declined in individuals experiencing both ocean warming and acidification (up to 44%). The RMR of juvenile sharks was also significantly affected by temperature and pH. The impact of low pH on ventilation rates was significant only under the higher thermal scenario. This study highlights the need of experimental-based risk assessments of sharks to climate change. In other words, it is critical to directly assess risk and vulnerability of sharks to ocean acidification and warming, and such effort can ultimately help managers and policy-makers to take proactive measures targeting most endangered species. PMID:25209942

  6. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  7. Sexual segregation of pelagic sharks and the potential threat from fisheries.

    PubMed

    Mucientes, Gonzalo R; Queiroz, Nuno; Sousa, Lara L; Tarroso, Pedro; Sims, David W

    2009-04-23

    Large pelagic sharks are declining in abundance in many oceans owing to fisheries exploitation. What is not known however is whether within-species geographical segregation of the sexes exacerbates this as a consequence of differential exploitation by spatially focused fisheries. Here we show striking sexual segregation in the fastest swimming shark, the shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus, across the South Pacific Ocean. The novel finding of a sexual 'line in the sea' spans a historical longline-fishing intensity gradient, suggesting that differential exploitation of the sexes is possible, a phenomenon which may underlie changes in the shark populations observed elsewhere. PMID:19324655

  8. Comparative studies of high performance swimming in sharks I. Red muscle morphometrics, vascularization and ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Bernal, D; Sepulveda, C; Mathieu-Costello, O; Graham, J B

    2003-08-01

    Tunas (family Scombridae) and sharks in the family Lamnidae are highly convergent for features commonly related to efficient and high-performance (i.e. sustained, aerobic) swimming. High-performance swimming by fishes requires adaptations augmenting the delivery, transfer and utilization of O(2) by the red myotomal muscle (RM), which powers continuous swimming. Tuna swimming performance is enhanced by a unique anterior and centrally positioned RM (i.e. closer to the vertebral column) and by structural features (relatively small fiber diameter, high capillary density and greater myoglobin concentration) increasing O(2) flux from RM capillaries to the mitochondria. A study of the structural and biochemical features of the mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) RM was undertaken to enable performance-capacity comparisons of tuna and lamnid RM. Similar to tunas, mako RM is positioned centrally and more anterior in the body. Another lamnid, the salmon shark (Lamna ditropis), also has this RM distribution, as does the closely related common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus; family Alopiidae). However, in both the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) and the blue shark (Prionace glauca), RM occupies the position where it is typically found in most fishes; more posterior and along the lateral edge of the body. Comparisons among sharks in this study revealed no differences in the total RM quantity (approximately 2-3% of body mass) and, irrespective of position within the body, RM scaling is isometric in all species. Sharks thus have less RM than do tunas (4-13% of body mass). Relative to published data on other shark species, mako RM appears to have a higher capillary density, a greater capillary-to-fiber ratio and a higher myoglobin concentration. However, mako RM fiber size does not differ from that reported for other shark species and the total volume of mitochondria in mako RM is similar to that reported for other sharks and for tunas. Lamnid RM properties thus suggest a higher

  9. Feeding requirements of white sharks may be higher than originally thought

    PubMed Central

    Semmens, J. M.; Payne, N. L.; Huveneers, C.; Sims, D. W.; Bruce, B. D.

    2013-01-01

    Quantifying the energy requirements of animals in nature is critical for understanding physiological, behavioural, and ecosystem ecology; however, for difficult-to-study species such as large sharks, prey intake rates are largely unknown. Here, we use metabolic rates derived from swimming speed estimates to suggest that feeding requirements of the world's largest predatory fish, the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), are several times higher than previously proposed. Further, our estimates of feeding frequency identify a clear benefit in seasonal selection of pinniped colonies - a white shark foraging strategy seen across much of their range. PMID:23503585

  10. Feeding requirements of white sharks may be higher than originally thought.

    PubMed

    Semmens, J M; Payne, N L; Huveneers, C; Sims, D W; Bruce, B D

    2013-01-01

    Quantifying the energy requirements of animals in nature is critical for understanding physiological, behavioural, and ecosystem ecology; however, for difficult-to-study species such as large sharks, prey intake rates are largely unknown. Here, we use metabolic rates derived from swimming speed estimates to suggest that feeding requirements of the world's largest predatory fish, the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), are several times higher than previously proposed. Further, our estimates of feeding frequency identify a clear benefit in seasonal selection of pinniped colonies - a white shark foraging strategy seen across much of their range. PMID:23503585

  11. The first report of disease in a basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus).

    PubMed

    Dagleish, M P; Baily, J L; Foster, G; Reid, R J; Barley, J

    2010-11-01

    Few diseases have been reported in any species of shark and none in the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) despite the latter being the subject of targeted hunting for over two centuries. This is the first report to describe the clinical signs and gross and microscopical pathology in a diseased basking shark that was live-stranded on the east coast of Scotland. Pyogranulomatous meningoencephalitis was present together with multifocal, predominantly non-suppurative, myocarditis with myocyte necrosis, oedema and haemorrhage. Additionally, there was full thickness ulcerative and fibrinonecrotizing dermatitis with underlying granulomatous inflammation. The aetiology could not be determined, but the lesions were suggestive of an infectious process, possibly bacterial. PMID:20304412

  12. Co-occurrence of Pacific sleeper sharks Somniosus pacificus and harbor seals Phoca vitulina in Glacier Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taggart, S.J.; Andrews, A.G.; Mondragon, J.; Mathews, E.A.

    2005-01-01

    We present evidence that Pacific sleeper sharks Somniosus pacificus co-occur with harbor seals Phoca vitulina in Glacier Bay, Alaska, and that these sharks scavenge or prey on marine mammals. In 2002, 415 stations were fished throughout Glacier Bay on a systematic sampling grid. Pacific sleeper sharks were caught at 3 of the 415 stations, and at one station a Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis was caught with a fresh bite, identified as the bite of a sleeper shark. All 3 sharks and the shark-bitten halibut were caught at stations near the mouth of Johns Hopkins Inlet, a glacial fjord with the highest concentration of seals in Glacier Bay. Using a bootstrap technique, we estimated the probability of sampling the sharks (and the shark-bitten halibut) in the vicinity of Johns Hopkins Inlet. If sharks were randomly distributed in Glacier Bay, the probability of sampling all 4 pots at the mouth of Johns Hopkins Inlet was very low (P = 0.00002). The highly non-random distribution of the sleeper sharks located near the largest harbor seal pupping and breeding colony in Glacier Bay suggests that these 2 species co-occur and may interact ecologically in or near Johns Hopkins Inlet.

  13. Physiological responses to hypersalinity correspond to nursery ground usage in two inshore shark species (Mustelus antarcticus and Galeorhinus galeus).

    PubMed

    Tunnah, Louise; MacKellar, Sara R C; Barnett, David A; MacCormack, Tyson J; Stehfest, Kilian M; Morash, Andrea J; Semmens, Jayson M; Currie, Suzanne

    2016-07-01

    Shark nurseries are susceptible to environmental fluctuations in salinity because of their shallow, coastal nature; however, the physiological impacts on resident elasmobranchs are largely unknown. Gummy sharks (Mustelus antarcticus) and school sharks (Galeorhinus galeus) use the same Tasmanian estuary as a nursery ground; however, each species has distinct distribution patterns that are coincident with changes in local environmental conditions, such as increases in salinity. We hypothesized that these differences were directly related to differential physiological tolerances to high salinity. To test this hypothesis, we exposed wild, juvenile school and gummy sharks to an environmentally relevant hypersaline (120% SW) event for 48 h. Metabolic rate decreased 20-35% in both species, and gill Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity was maintained in gummy sharks but decreased 37% in school sharks. We measured plasma ions (Na(+), K(+), Cl(-)) and osmolytes [urea and trimethylamine oxide (TMAO)], and observed a 33% increase in plasma Na(+) in gummy sharks with hyperosmotic exposure, while school sharks displayed a typical ureosmotic increase in plasma urea (∼20%). With elevated salinity, gill TMAO concentration increased by 42% in school sharks and by 30% in gummy sharks. Indicators of cellular stress (heat shock proteins HSP70, 90 and 110, and ubiquitin) significantly increased in gill and white muscle in both a species- and a tissue-specific manner. Overall, gummy sharks exhibited greater osmotic perturbation and ionic dysregulation and a larger cellular stress response compared with school sharks. Our findings provide physiological correlates to the observed distribution and movement of these shark species in their critical nursery grounds. PMID:27207636

  14. Magnetostratigraphy of displaced Upper Cretaceous strata in southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fry, J. Gilbert; Bottjer, David J.; Lund, Steve P.

    1985-09-01

    A magnetostratigraphic study of Upper Cretaceous marine strata from the Santa Ana Mountains in southern California has identified a Campanian reversed magnetozone. This reversed interval, corresponding to marine magnetic anomaly 33 34 (Chron 33r) of Campanian age, can be correlated with a Campanian reversed magnetozone that has been reported from strata of the Great Valley Sequence in central California. The Late Cretaceous paleolatitude of the Santa Ana Mountains is estimated from this study to be 26.6°N. This is significantly different from the region's expected Cretaceous paleolatitude of 43.8°N as part of the North American stable craton, and indicates that this region (part of the Peninsular Ranges terrane) was 1900 km farther south in Cretaceous time relative to the stable craton. *Present address: Mobil Oil Corp., P.O. Box 900, Dallas, Texas 75221

  15. Colombian late cretaceous tropical planktonic foraminifera: Redressing the imbalance

    SciTech Connect

    McCarthy, L.D.

    1993-02-01

    Recent work involving Late Cretaceous planktonic foraminifera has concentrated on European and other areas in the Northern Hemisphere. Many of the biostratigraphical and evolutionary models reflect this geographical restriction and ignore earlier studies from tropical areas. In 1955 Rolando Gandolfi described many new species and subspecies from Colombia and provided a different view of the evolutionary development of planktonic foraminifera. A re-examination of the Gandolfi type collection using Scanning Electron Micrography (Environmental Chamber technique) integrated with Colombian well samples from onshore Guajira area, Middle and Upper Magdalena Valley and Putumayo Basin has given a new view into the evolutionary development of Late Cretaceous planktonic foraminifera. This has enabled a modified globigerine Late Cretaceous biostratigraphy to be constructed for Colombia. This work redresses the imbalance between studies of tropical and northern high latitude Late Cretaceous planktonic foraminifera and provides an insight into the paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatological factors influencing the Colombian region at the time.

  16. Molecular Phylogeny of the Bamboo Sharks (Chiloscyllium spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Masstor, Noor Haslina; Samat, Abdullah; Nor, Shukor Md; Md-Zain, Badrul Munir

    2014-01-01

    Chiloscyllium, commonly called bamboo shark, can be found inhabiting the waters of the Indo-West Pacific around East Asian countries such as Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has categorized them as nearly threatened sharks out of their declining population status due to overexploitation. A molecular study was carried out to portray the systematic relationships within Chiloscyllium species using 12S rRNA and cytochrome b gene sequences. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian were used to reconstruct their phylogeny trees. A total of 381 bp sequences' lengths were successfully aligned in the 12S rRNA region, with 41 bp sites being parsimony-informative. In the cytochrome b region, a total of 1120 bp sites were aligned, with 352 parsimony-informative characters. All analyses yield phylogeny trees on which C. indicum has close relationships with C. plagiosum. C. punctatum is sister taxon to both C. indicum and C. plagiosum while C. griseum and C. hasseltii formed their own clade as sister taxa. These Chiloscyllium classifications can be supported by some morphological characters (lateral dermal ridges on the body, coloring patterns, and appearance of hypobranchials and basibranchial plate) that can clearly be used to differentiate each species. PMID:25013766

  17. Individual personality differences in Port Jackson sharks Heterodontus portusjacksoni.

    PubMed

    Byrnes, E E; Brown, C

    2016-08-01

    This study examined interindividual personality differences between Port Jackson sharks Heterodontus portusjacksoni utilizing a standard boldness assay. Additionally, the correlation between differences in individual boldness and stress reactivity was examined, exploring indications of individual coping styles. Heterodontus portusjacksoni demonstrated highly repeatable individual differences in boldness and stress reactivity. Individual boldness scores were highly repeatable across four trials such that individuals that were the fastest to emerge in the first trial were also the fastest to emerge in subsequent trials. Additionally, individuals that were the most reactive to a handling stressor in the first trial were also the most reactive in a second trial. The strong link between boldness and stress response commonly found in teleosts was also evident in this study, providing evidence of proactive-reactive coping styles in H. portusjacksoni. These results demonstrate the presence of individual personality differences in sharks for the first time. Understanding how personality influences variation in elasmobranch behaviour such as prey choice, habitat use and activity levels is critical to better managing these top predators which play important ecological roles in marine ecosystems. PMID:27228221

  18. Stratigraphy and paleogeography of the Cretaceous in Arabian Peninsula

    SciTech Connect

    Alsharhan, A.S.; Nairn, A.E.M.

    1986-05-01

    The Cretaceous of the Arabian Peninsula is divided into three major units by regional unconformities: Lower Cretaceous Thamama Group (Berriasian-middle Aptian), middle Cretaceous Wasia Group (Albian-Turonian), and Upper Cretaceous Aruma Group (Coniacian-Maestrichtian). The profusion of named stratigraphic units in the area reflects not only the lithologic variation resulting from facies changes, but also terminologies adopted by different companies. The authors provide a stratigraphic nomenclature defining standard type sections and indicate synonymies, which follow the recommendation of 10th Geological Liaison Meeting and hence are acceptable to operators in the area. The sedimentologic history of the area was presented in a series of paleogeographic maps, which they relate to the regional tectonic framework. The maps show a predominantly carbonate shelf ramp bordering a land area to the north and west. The principal change in depositional environment occurs during the Upper Cretaceous, as a result of tectonic activity. Less significant changes are attributed to eustatic sea level fluctuations, on which tilting caused by tectonic movement may be superposed during the Lower and middle Cretaceous. The major producing horizons lie below the regional unconformities; secondary porosity in the shelf reefal buildups was developed during subaerial exposure in the Shuaiba Formation (early-middle Aptian), in the Mishrif Formation (late Cenomanian), and in the Simsima Formation (Maestrichtian).

  19. A Late Cretaceous ceratopsian dinosaur from Europe with Asian affinities.

    PubMed

    Osi, Attila; Butler, Richard J; Weishampel, David B

    2010-05-27

    Ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) represent a highly diverse and abundant radiation of non-avian dinosaurs known primarily from the Cretaceous period (65-145 million years ago). This radiation has been considered to be geographically limited to Asia and western North America, with only controversial remains reported from other continents. Here we describe new ceratopsian cranial material from the Late Cretaceous of Iharkút, Hungary, from a coronosaurian ceratopsian, Ajkaceratops kozmai. Ajkaceratops is most similar to 'bagaceratopsids' such as Bagaceratops and Magnirostris, previously known only from Late Cretaceous east Asia. The new material unambiguously demonstrates that ceratopsians occupied Late Cretaceous Europe and, when considered with the recent discovery of possible leptoceratopsid teeth from Sweden, indicates that the clade may have reached Europe on at least two independent occasions. European Late Cretaceous dinosaur faunas have been characterized as consisting of a mix of endemic 'relictual' taxa and 'Gondwanan' taxa, with typical Asian and North American groups largely absent. Ajkaceratops demonstrates that this prevailing biogeographical hypothesis is overly simplified and requires reassessment. Iharkút was part of the western Tethyan archipelago, a tectonically complex series of island chains between Africa and Europe, and the occurrence of a coronosaurian ceratopsian in this locality may represent an early Late Cretaceous 'island-hopping' dispersal across the Tethys Ocean. PMID:20505726

  20. Late Cretaceous Volcaniclastics in NW Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boehm, Katharina; Wolfgring, Erik; Omer Yilmaz, Ismail; Tüysüz, Okan; Wagreich, Michael

    2015-04-01

    On the southwestern coast of the Black Sea, in the western Pontides Upper Cretaceous tuff layers are present. The tuffs are intercalated with limestones, marls and turbidites and were investigated with focus on their geochemistry, to get new insights to the arrangement of terranes and ocean basins at this time. In the region two Upper Cretaceous volcanic units can be distinguished, separated by distinct red pelagic limestone successions, belonging to the Unaz Formation. The lower volcanic unit is named Dereköy Formation and is Turonian to Santonian in age. It is thought to be deposited within extension structures, contemporaneously with rifting in the western Black Sea basin. The upper volcanic unit is called Cambu Formation. According to biostratigraphic data it is deposited throughout Campanian, when spreading in the western Black Sea basin started. Interpreted as submarine deposits, element mobility has to be taken into account when interpreting geochemical ICP-MS data of the volcaniclastics. Multiple discrimination diagrams with suitable proxies elucidate the type of volcanism and contribute to reconstruction of the tectonic setting. The classified rock types range from basaltic to rhyodacitic in both volcanic formations. Basically degree of differentiation and alkalinity are the parameters looked at, when determining rock types of the volcanic eruption. Further volcanic series are specified as calc-alkaline to shoshonitic. Moreover, a volcanic arc setting seems to be the most likely case, following several discrimination diagrams, as well as normalized multi-element plots. This tectonic setting can be discussed in connection with paleo-tectonic reconstructions. Most cited in literature nowadays are models favoring a northward subduction of the northern branch of Neotethys, creating an extensional setting north of the Pontides. This kind of back arc extension is interpreted as the reason of a southward drift of the Istanbul continental fragment from Eurasia

  1. A first estimate of white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, abundance off Central California

    PubMed Central

    Chapple, Taylor K.; Jorgensen, Salvador J.; Anderson, Scot D.; Kanive, Paul E.; Klimley, A. Peter; Botsford, Louis W.; Block, Barbara A.

    2011-01-01

    The decline of sharks in the global oceans underscores the need for careful assessment and monitoring of remaining populations. The northeastern Pacific is the home range for a genetically distinct clade of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Little is known about the conservation status of this demographically isolated population, concentrated seasonally at two discrete aggregation sites: Central California (CCA) and Guadalupe Island, Mexico. We used photo-identification of dorsal fins in a sequential Bayesian mark–recapture algorithm to estimate white shark abundance off CCA. We collected 321 photographs identifying 130 unique individuals, and estimated the abundance off CCA to be 219 mature and sub-adult individuals ((130, 275) 95% credible intervals), substantially smaller than populations of other large marine predators. Our methods can be readily expanded to estimate shark population abundance at other locations, and over time, to monitor the status, population trends and protection needs of these globally distributed predators. PMID:21389017

  2. Great hammerhead sharks swim on their side to reduce transport costs.

    PubMed

    Payne, Nicholas L; Iosilevskii, Gil; Barnett, Adam; Fischer, Chris; Graham, Rachel T; Gleiss, Adrian C; Watanabe, Yuuki Y

    2016-01-01

    Animals exhibit various physiological and behavioural strategies for minimizing travel costs. Fins of aquatic animals play key roles in efficient travel and, for sharks, the functions of dorsal and pectoral fins are considered well divided: the former assists propulsion and generates lateral hydrodynamic forces during turns and the latter generates vertical forces that offset sharks' negative buoyancy. Here we show that great hammerhead sharks drastically reconfigure the function of these structures, using an exaggerated dorsal fin to generate lift by swimming rolled on their side. Tagged wild sharks spend up to 90% of time swimming at roll angles between 50° and 75°, and hydrodynamic modelling shows that doing so reduces drag-and in turn, the cost of transport-by around 10% compared with traditional upright swimming. Employment of such a strongly selected feature for such a unique purpose raises interesting questions about evolutionary pathways to hydrodynamic adaptations, and our perception of form and function. PMID:27457414

  3. Effects of Smart Position Only (SPOT) Tag Deployment on White Sharks Carcharodon carcharias in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Jewell, Oliver J. D.; Wcisel, Michelle A.; Gennari, Enrico; Towner, Alison V.; Bester, Marthán N.; Johnson, Ryan L.; Singh, Sarika

    2011-01-01

    We present 15 individual cases of sub-adult white sharks that were SPOT tagged in South Africa from 2003–2004 and have been re-sighted as recently as 2011. Our observations suggest SPOT tags can cause permanent cosmetic and structural damage to white shark dorsal fins depending on the duration of tag attachment. SPOT tags that detached within 12–24 months did not cause long term damage to the dorsal fin other than pigmentation scarring. Within 12 months of deployment, tag fouling can occur. After 24 months of deployment permanent damage to the dorsal fin occurred. A shark survived this prolonged attachment and there seems little compromise on the animal's long term survival and resultant body growth. This is the first investigation detailing the long term effects of SPOT deployment on the dorsal fin of white sharks. PMID:22110620

  4. Pectoral Fin of the Megamouth Shark: Skeletal and Muscular Systems, Skin Histology, and Functional Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Tomita, Taketeru; Tanaka, Sho; Sato, Keiichi; Nakaya, Kazuhiro

    2014-01-01

    This is the first known report on the skeletal and muscular systems, and the skin histology, of the pectoral fin of the rare planktivorous megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios. The pectoral fin is characterized by three features: 1) a large number of segments in the radial cartilages; 2) highly elastic pectoral fin skin; and 3) a vertically-rotated hinge joint at the pectoral fin base. These features suggest that the pectoral fin of the megamouth shark is remarkably flexible and mobile, and that this flexibility and mobility enhance dynamic lift control, thus allowing for stable swimming at slow speeds. The flexibility and mobility of the megamouth shark pectoral fin contrasts with that of fast-swimming sharks, such as Isurus oxyrhinchus and Lamna ditropis, in which the pectoral fin is stiff and relatively immobile. PMID:24465959

  5. 50 CFR 635.24 - Commercial retention limits for sharks and swordfish.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ..., all dead, legal-sized, non-prohibited sharks that are brought onboard the vessel and cannot replace... to be released cannot be brought onboard the vessel and must be released in the water in a...

  6. Great hammerhead sharks swim on their side to reduce transport costs

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Nicholas L.; Iosilevskii, Gil; Barnett, Adam; Fischer, Chris; Graham, Rachel T.; Gleiss, Adrian C.; Watanabe, Yuuki Y.

    2016-01-01

    Animals exhibit various physiological and behavioural strategies for minimizing travel costs. Fins of aquatic animals play key roles in efficient travel and, for sharks, the functions of dorsal and pectoral fins are considered well divided: the former assists propulsion and generates lateral hydrodynamic forces during turns and the latter generates vertical forces that offset sharks' negative buoyancy. Here we show that great hammerhead sharks drastically reconfigure the function of these structures, using an exaggerated dorsal fin to generate lift by swimming rolled on their side. Tagged wild sharks spend up to 90% of time swimming at roll angles between 50° and 75°, and hydrodynamic modelling shows that doing so reduces drag—and in turn, the cost of transport—by around 10% compared with traditional upright swimming. Employment of such a strongly selected feature for such a unique purpose raises interesting questions about evolutionary pathways to hydrodynamic adaptations, and our perception of form and function. PMID:27457414

  7. [Review on the feeding ecology and migration patterns of sharks using stable isotopes].

    PubMed

    Li, Yun-Kai

    2014-09-01

    With the rapidly increasing use of stable isotope analysis (SIA) in ecology, it becomes a powerful tool and complement to traditional methods for investigating the trophic ecology of animals. Sharks play a keystone role in marine food webs as the apex predators and are recently becoming the frontier topic of food web studies and marine conservation because of their unique characteristics of evolution. Recently, SIA has recently been applied to trophic ecology studies of shark species. Here, we reviewed the current applications of SIA in shark species, focusing on available tissues for analyzing, standardized analytical approaches, diet-tissue discrimination factors, diet shift investigation, migration patterns predictions and niche-width analyses, with the aim of getting better understanding of stable-isotope dynamics in shark biology and ecology research. PMID:25757331

  8. 75 FR 9158 - Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Coastal Sharks Fishery

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-01

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XU54 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Coastal Sharks Fishery AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National.... SUMMARY: NMFS announces that on February 4, 2010, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries...

  9. Evaluation of dredged material proposed for ocean disposal from Shark River Project area

    SciTech Connect

    Antrim, L.D.; Gardiner, W.W.; Barrows, E.S.; Borde, A.B.

    1996-09-01

    The objective of the Shark River Project was to evaluate proposed dredged material to determine its suitability for unconfined ocean disposal at the Mud Dump Site. Tests and analyses were conducted on the Shark River sediments. The evaluation of proposed dredged material consisted of bulk sediment chemical and physical analysis, chemical analyses of dredging site water and elutriate, water-column and benthic acute toxicity tests, and bioaccumulation tests. Individual sediment core samples collected from the Shark River were analyzed for grain size, moisture content, and total organic carbon (TOC). One sediment composite was analyzed for bulk density, specific gravity, metals, chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 1,4- dichlorobenzene. Dredging site water and elutriate, prepared from suspended-particulate phase (SPP) of the Shark River sediment composite, were analyzed for metals, pesticides, and PCBs. Benthic acute toxicity tests and bioaccumulation tests were performed.

  10. Scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini, utilizes deep-water, hypoxic zone in the Gulf of California.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, S J; Klimley, A P; Muhlia-Melo, A F

    2009-05-01

    A hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini tracked for 74 days revealed an expansion of the range of vertical distribution for the species to include the extreme hypoxic environment of the oxygen minimum layer in the Gulf of California. PMID:20735666

  11. Is the scaling of swim speed in sharks driven by metabolism?

    PubMed

    Jacoby, David M P; Siriwat, Penthai; Freeman, Robin; Carbone, Chris

    2015-12-01

    The movement rates of sharks are intrinsically linked to foraging ecology, predator-prey dynamics and wider ecosystem functioning in marine systems. During ram ventilation, however, shark movement rates are linked not only to ecological parameters, but also to physiology, as minimum speeds are required to provide sufficient water flow across the gills to maintain metabolism. We develop a geometric model predicting a positive scaling relationship between swim speeds in relation to body size and ultimately shark metabolism, taking into account estimates for the scaling of gill dimensions. Empirical data from 64 studies (26 species) were compiled to test our model while controlling for the influence of phylogenetic similarity between related species. Our model predictions were found to closely resemble the observed relationships from tracked sharks, providing a means to infer mobility in particularly intractable species. PMID:26631246

  12. First case of synophthalmia and albinism in the Pacific angel shark Squatina californica.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Sánchez, O; Moreno-Sánchez, X G; Aguilar-Cruz, C A; Abitia-Cárdenas, L A

    2014-08-01

    The first record in Mexican waters of albinism and synophthalmia (partial cyclopia) in the Pacific angel shark, Squatina californica is presented. Albinism is not lethal, but synophthalmia may cause the death of the individual immediately after birth. PMID:24919845

  13. Identification of shark species in seafood products by forensically informative nucleotide sequencing (FINS).

    PubMed

    Blanco, M; Pérez-Martín, R I; Sotelo, C G

    2008-11-12

    The identification of commercial shark species is a relevant issue to ensure the correct labeling of seafood products, to maintain consumer confidence in seafood, and to enhance the knowledge of the species and volumes that are at present being captured, thus improving the management of shark fisheries. The polymerase chain reaction was employed to obtain a 423 bp amplicon from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The sequences from this fragment, belonging to 63 authentic individuals of 23 species, were analyzed using a genetic distance method. Nine different samples of commercial fresh, frozen, and convenience food were obtained in local and international markets to validate the methodology. These samples were analyzed, and sequences were employed for species identification, showing that forensically informative nucleotide sequencing (FINS) is a suitable technique for identification of processed seafood containing shark as an ingredient. The results also showed that incorrect labeling practices may occur regarding shark products, probably because of incorrect labeling at the production point. PMID:18831561

  14. Flow Measurements over Embedded Cavities Modeling the Microgeometry of Bristled Shark Skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Amy; Hidalgo, Pablo

    2008-11-01

    Certain species of sharks (e.g. shortfin mako) have a skin structure that results in a bristling of their denticles (scales) during increased swimming speeds. This unique surface geometry results in the formation of a 3D array of cavities (d-type roughness geometry) within the shark skin, thus causing it to potentially act as a means of boundary layer control. In order to further understand the effectiveness of this complex geometry, ProE was used to replicate the bristled shark skin of the shortfin mako using a rapid prototyping machine. Two simplified geometries of the shark skin, including 2D transverse cavities and a 3D array of staggered cavities, were also studied. Boundary layer measurements using DPIV were obtained and compared for all three geometries. Of particular interest is the role that the riblets, on the face of the denticles, appear to play in forming an organized array of embedded vortices within the surface. Patent pending.

  15. A New Method to Calibrate Attachment Angles of Data Loggers in Swimming Sharks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawatsu, Shizuka; Sato, Katsufumi; Watanabe, Yuuki; Hyodo, Susumu; Breves, Jason P.; Fox, Bradley K.; Grau, E. Gordon; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki

    2009-12-01

    Recently, animal-borne accelerometers have been used to record the pitch angle of aquatic animals during swimming. When evaluating pitch angle, it is necessary to consider a discrepancy between the angle of an accelerometer and the long axis of an animal. In this study, we attached accelerometers to 17 free-ranging scalloped hammerhead shark ( Sphyrna lewini) pups from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Although there are methods to calibrate attachment angles of accelerometers, we confirmed that previous methods were not applicable for hammerhead pups. According to raw data, some sharks ascended with a negative angle, which differs from tank observations of captive sharks. In turn, we developed a new method to account for this discrepancy in swimming sharks by estimating the attachment angle from the relationship between vertical speed (m/s) and pitch angle obtained by each accelerometer. The new method can be utilized for field observation of a wide range of species.

  16. Low Genetic Differentiation across Three Major Ocean Populations of the Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Jennifer V.; Schmidt, Claudia L.; Ozer, Fusun; Ernst, Robin E.; Feldheim, Kevin A.; Ashley, Mary V.; Levine, Marie

    2009-01-01

    Background Whale sharks are a declining species for which little biological data is available. While these animals are protected in many parts of their range, they are fished legally and illegally in some countries. Baseline biological and ecological data are needed to allow the formulation of an effective conservation plan for whale sharks. It is not known, for example, whether the whale shark is represented by a single worldwide panmictic population or by numerous, reproductively isolated populations. Genetic analysis of population structure is one essential component of the baseline data required for whale shark conservation. Methodology/Principal Findings We have identified 8 polymorphic microsatellites in the whale shark and used these markers to assess genetic variation and population structure in a panel of whale sharks covering a broad geographic region. This is the first record of microsatellite loci in the whale shark, which displayed an average of 9 alleles per locus and mean Ho = 0.66 and He = 0.69. All but one of the eight loci meet the expectations of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Analysis of these loci in whale sharks representing three major portions of their range, the Pacific (P), Caribbean (C), and Indian (I) Oceans, determined that there is little population differentiation between animals sampled in different geographic regions, indicating historical gene flow between populations. FST values for inter-ocean comparisons were low (P×C = 0.0387, C×I = 0.0296 and P×I = −0.0022), and only C×I approached statistical significance (p = 0.0495). Conclusions/Significance We have shown only low levels of genetic differentiation between geographically distinct whale shark populations. Existing satellite tracking data have revealed both regional and long-range migration of whale sharks throughout their range, which supports the finding of gene flow between populations. Whale sharks traverse geographic and political boundaries

  17. The Species and Origin of Shark Fins in Taiwan’s Fishing Ports, Markets, and Customs Detention: A DNA Barcoding Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Po-Shun; Hung, Tzu-Chiao; Chang, Hung-An; Huang, Chien-Kang; Shiao, Jen-Chieh

    2016-01-01

    The increasing consumption of shark products, along with the shark’s fishing vulnerabilities, has led to the decrease in certain shark populations. In this study we used a DNA barcoding method to identify the species of shark landings at fishing ports, shark fin products in retail stores, and shark fins detained by Taiwan customs. In total we identified 23, 24, and 14 species from 231 fishing landings, 316 fin products, and 113 detained shark fins, respectively. All the three sample sources were dominated by Prionace glauca, which accounted for more than 30% of the collected samples. Over 60% of the species identified in the fin products also appeared in the port landings, suggesting the domestic-dominance of shark fin products in Taiwan. However, international trade also contributes a certain proportion of the fin product markets, as four species identified from the shark fin products are not found in Taiwan’s waters, and some domestic-available species were also found in the customs-detained sample. In addition to the species identification, we also found geographical differentiation in the cox1 gene of the common thresher sharks (Alopias vulpinus), the pelagic thresher shark (A. pelagicus), the smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena), and the scalloped hammerhead shark (S. lewini). This result might allow fishing authorities to more effectively trace the origins as well as enforce the management and conservation of these sharks. PMID:26799827

  18. Intraspecific variation in vertical habitat use by tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in the western North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Vaudo, Jeremy J; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Harvey, Guy; Nemeth, Richard S; Aming, Choy; Burnie, Neil; Howey-Jordan, Lucy A; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2014-05-01

    Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are a wide ranging, potentially keystone predator species that display a variety of horizontal movement patterns, making use of coastal and pelagic waters. Far less, however, is known about their vertical movements and use of the water column. We used pop-up satellite archival tags with two data sampling rates (high rate and standard rate tags) to investigate the vertical habitat use and diving behavior of tiger sharks tagged on the Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands platform and off Bermuda between 2008 and 2009. Useable data were received from nine of 14 sharks tagged, tracked over a total of 529 days. Sharks spent the majority of their time making yo-yo dives within the upper 50 m of the water column and considerable time within the upper 5 m of the water column. As a result, sharks typically occupied a narrow daily temperature range (∼2°C). Dives to greater than 200 m were common, and all sharks made dives to at least 250 m, with one shark reaching a depth of 828 m. Despite some similarities among individuals, a great deal of intraspecific variability in vertical habit use was observed. Four distinct depth distributions that were not related to tagging location, horizontal movements, sex, or size were detected. In addition, similar depth distributions did not necessitate similar dive patterns among sharks. Recognition of intraspecific variability in habitat use of top predators can be crucial for effective management of these species and for understanding their influence on ecosystem dynamics. PMID:24963376

  19. Unexpected Positive Buoyancy in Deep Sea Sharks, Hexanchus griseus, and a Echinorhinus cookei.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Itsumi; Meyer, Carl G; Sato, Katsufumi

    2015-01-01

    We do not expect non air-breathing aquatic animals to exhibit positive buoyancy. Sharks, for example, rely on oil-filled livers instead of gas-filled swim bladders to increase their buoyancy, but are nonetheless ubiquitously regarded as either negatively or neutrally buoyant. Deep-sea sharks have particularly large, oil-filled livers, and are believed to be neutrally buoyant in their natural habitat, but this has never been confirmed. To empirically determine the buoyancy status of two species of deep-sea sharks (bluntnose sixgill sharks, Hexanchus griseus, and a prickly shark, Echinorhinus cookei) in their natural habitat, we used accelerometer-magnetometer data loggers to measure their swimming performance. Both species of deep-sea sharks showed similar diel vertical migrations: they swam at depths of 200-300 m at night and deeper than 500 m during the day. Ambient water temperature was around 15°C at 200-300 m but below 7°C at depths greater than 500 m. During vertical movements, all deep-sea sharks showed higher swimming efforts during descent than ascent to maintain a given swimming speed, and were able to glide uphill for extended periods (several minutes), indicating that these deep-sea sharks are in fact positively buoyant in their natural habitats. This positive buoyancy may adaptive for stealthy hunting (i.e. upward gliding to surprise prey from underneath) or may facilitate evening upward migrations when muscle temperatures are coolest, and swimming most sluggish, after spending the day in deep, cold water. Positive buoyancy could potentially be widespread in fish conducting daily vertical migration in deep-sea habitats. PMID:26061525

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of the crocodile shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Ho, Hsuan-Ching

    2016-05-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the crocodile shark consists of 16,688 bp and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region, and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the crocodile shark is the same as that of most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (32.0%), T (31.0%), C (23.7%) and G (13.3%). PMID:25329265

  1. Patterns of Occurrence of Sharks in Sydney Harbour, a Large Urbanised Estuary.

    PubMed

    Smoothey, Amy F; Gray, Charles A; Kennelly, Steve J; Masens, Oliver J; Peddemors, Victor M; Robinson, Wayne A

    2016-01-01

    Information about spatial and temporal variability in the distribution and abundance of shark-populations are required for their conservation, management and to update measures designed to mitigate human-shark interactions. However, because some species of sharks are mobile, migratory and occur in relatively small numbers, estimating their patterns of distribution and abundance can be very difficult. In this study, we used a hierarchical sampling design to examine differences in the composition of species, size- and sex-structures of sharks sampled with bottom-set longlines in three different areas with increasing distance from the entrance of Sydney Harbour, a large urbanised estuary. During two years of sampling, we obtained data for four species of sharks (Port Jackson, Heterodontus portusjacksoni; wobbegong, Orectolobus maculatus; dusky whaler, Carcharhinus obscurus and bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas). Only a few O. maculatus and C. obscurus were caught, all in the area closest to the entrance of the Harbour. O. maculatus were caught in all seasons, except summer, while C. obscurus was only caught in summer. Heterodontus portusjacksoni were the most abundant species, caught in the entrance location mostly between July to November, when water temperature was below 21.5°C. This pattern was consistent across both years. C. leucas, the second most abundant species, were captured in all areas of Sydney Harbour but only in summer and autumn when water temperatures were above 23°C. This study quantified, for this first time, how different species utilise different areas of Sydney Harbour, at different times of the year. This information has implications for the management of human-shark interactions, by enabling creation of education programs to modify human behaviour in times of increased risk of potentially dangerous sharks. PMID:26824349

  2. Aversive responses of captive sandbar sharks Carcharhinus plumbeus to strong magnetic fields.

    PubMed

    Siegenthaler, A; Niemantsverdriet, P R W; Laterveer, M; Heitkönig, I M A

    2016-09-01

    This experimental study focused on the possible deterrent effect of permanent magnets on adult sandbar sharks Carcharhinus plumbeus. Results showed that the presence of a magnetic field significantly reduced the number of approaches of conditioned C. plumbeus towards a target indicating that adult C. plumbeus can be deterred by strong magnetic fields. These data, therefore, confirm that the use of magnetic devices to reduce shark by-catch is a promising avenue. PMID:27323691

  3. Patterns of Occurrence of Sharks in Sydney Harbour, a Large Urbanised Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Smoothey, Amy F.; Gray, Charles A.; Kennelly, Steve J.; Masens, Oliver J.; Peddemors, Victor M.; Robinson, Wayne A.

    2016-01-01

    Information about spatial and temporal variability in the distribution and abundance of shark-populations are required for their conservation, management and to update measures designed to mitigate human-shark interactions. However, because some species of sharks are mobile, migratory and occur in relatively small numbers, estimating their patterns of distribution and abundance can be very difficult. In this study, we used a hierarchical sampling design to examine differences in the composition of species, size- and sex-structures of sharks sampled with bottom-set longlines in three different areas with increasing distance from the entrance of Sydney Harbour, a large urbanised estuary. During two years of sampling, we obtained data for four species of sharks (Port Jackson, Heterodontus portusjacksoni; wobbegong, Orectolobus maculatus; dusky whaler, Carcharhinus obscurus and bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas). Only a few O. maculatus and C. obscurus were caught, all in the area closest to the entrance of the Harbour. O. maculatus were caught in all seasons, except summer, while C. obscurus was only caught in summer. Heterodontus portusjacksoni were the most abundant species, caught in the entrance location mostly between July to November, when water temperature was below 21.5°C. This pattern was consistent across both years. C. leucas, the second most abundant species, were captured in all areas of Sydney Harbour but only in summer and autumn when water temperatures were above 23°C. This study quantified, for this first time, how different species utilise different areas of Sydney Harbour, at different times of the year. This information has implications for the management of human-shark interactions, by enabling creation of education programs to modify human behaviour in times of increased risk of potentially dangerous sharks. PMID:26824349

  4. Blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) show high capacity for wound healing and recovery following injury.

    PubMed

    Chin, Andrew; Mourier, Johann; Rummer, Jodie L

    2015-01-01

    Wound healing is important for sharks from the earliest life stages, for example, as the 'umbilical scar' in viviparous species heals, and throughout adulthood, when sharks can incur a range of external injuries from natural and anthropogenic sources. Despite anecdotal accounts of rapid healing in elasmobranchs, data regarding recovery and survival of individuals from different wound or injury types has not been systematically collected. The present study documented: (i) 'umbilical scar' healing in wild-caught, neonatal blacktip reef sharks while being reared for 30 days in flow-through laboratory aquaria in French Polynesia; (ii) survival and recovery of free-swimming blacktip reef sharks in Australia and French Polynesia following a range of injuries; and (iii) long-term survival following suspected shark-finning activities. Laboratory monitoring, tag-recapture records, telemetry data and photo-identification records suggest that blacktip reef sharks have a high capacity to survive and recover from small or even large and severe wounds. Healing rates, recovery and survival are important factors to consider when assessing impacts of habitat degradation and fishing stress on shark populations. The present study suggests that individual survival may depend more on handling practices and physiological stress rather than the extent of physical injury. These observations also contribute to discussions regarding the ethics of tagging practices used in elasmobranch research and provide baseline healing rates that may increase the accuracy in estimating reproductive timing inferred from mating scars and birth dates for neonatal sharks based on umbilical scar healing status. PMID:27293741

  5. Blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) show high capacity for wound healing and recovery following injury

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Andrew; Mourier, Johann; Rummer, Jodie L.

    2015-01-01

    Wound healing is important for sharks from the earliest life stages, for example, as the ‘umbilical scar’ in viviparous species heals, and throughout adulthood, when sharks can incur a range of external injuries from natural and anthropogenic sources. Despite anecdotal accounts of rapid healing in elasmobranchs, data regarding recovery and survival of individuals from different wound or injury types has not been systematically collected. The present study documented: (i) ‘umbilical scar’ healing in wild-caught, neonatal blacktip reef sharks while being reared for 30 days in flow-through laboratory aquaria in French Polynesia; (ii) survival and recovery of free-swimming blacktip reef sharks in Australia and French Polynesia following a range of injuries; and (iii) long-term survival following suspected shark-finning activities. Laboratory monitoring, tag-recapture records, telemetry data and photo-identification records suggest that blacktip reef sharks have a high capacity to survive and recover from small or even large and severe wounds. Healing rates, recovery and survival are important factors to consider when assessing impacts of habitat degradation and fishing stress on shark populations. The present study suggests that individual survival may depend more on handling practices and physiological stress rather than the extent of physical injury. These observations also contribute to discussions regarding the ethics of tagging practices used in elasmobranch research and provide baseline healing rates that may increase the accuracy in estimating reproductive timing inferred from mating scars and birth dates for neonatal sharks based on umbilical scar healing status. PMID:27293741

  6. Migration Pathways, Behavioural Thermoregulation and Overwintering Grounds of Blue Sharks in the Northwest Atlantic

    PubMed Central

    Campana, Steven E.; Dorey, Anna; Fowler, Mark; Joyce, Warren; Wang, Zeliang; Yashayaev, Igor

    2011-01-01

    The blue shark Prionace glauca is the most abundant large pelagic shark in the Atlantic Ocean. Although recaptures of tagged sharks have shown that the species is highly migratory, migration pathways towards the overwintering grounds remain poorly understood. We used archival satellite pop-up tags to track 23 blue sharks over a mean period of 88 days as they departed the coastal waters of North America in the autumn. Within 1–2 days of entering the Gulf Stream (median date of 21 Oct), all sharks initiated a striking diel vertical migration, taking them from a mean nighttime depth of 74 m to a mean depth of 412 m during the day as they appeared to pursue vertically migrating squid and fish prey. Although functionally blind at depth, calculations suggest that there would be a ∼2.5-fold thermoregulatory advantage to swimming and feeding in the markedly cooler deep waters, even if there was any reduced foraging success associated with the extreme depth. Noting that the Gulf Stream current speeds are reduced at depth, we used a detailed circulation model of the North Atlantic to examine the influence of the diving behaviour on the advection experienced by the sharks. However, there was no indication that the shark diving resulted in a significant modification of their net migratory pathway. The relative abundance of deep-diving sharks, swordfish, and sperm whales in the Gulf Stream and adjacent waters suggests that it may serve as a key winter feeding ground for large pelagic predators in the North Atlantic. PMID:21373198

  7. Intraspecific variation in vertical habitat use by tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in the western North Atlantic

    PubMed Central

    Vaudo, Jeremy J; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Harvey, Guy; Nemeth, Richard S; Aming, Choy; Burnie, Neil; Howey-Jordan, Lucy A; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2014-01-01

    Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are a wide ranging, potentially keystone predator species that display a variety of horizontal movement patterns, making use of coastal and pelagic waters. Far less, however, is known about their vertical movements and use of the water column. We used pop-up satellite archival tags with two data sampling rates (high rate and standard rate tags) to investigate the vertical habitat use and diving behavior of tiger sharks tagged on the Puerto Rico–Virgin Islands platform and off Bermuda between 2008 and 2009. Useable data were received from nine of 14 sharks tagged, tracked over a total of 529 days. Sharks spent the majority of their time making yo-yo dives within the upper 50 m of the water column and considerable time within the upper 5 m of the water column. As a result, sharks typically occupied a narrow daily temperature range (∼2°C). Dives to greater than 200 m were common, and all sharks made dives to at least 250 m, with one shark reaching a depth of 828 m. Despite some similarities among individuals, a great deal of intraspecific variability in vertical habit use was observed. Four distinct depth distributions that were not related to tagging location, horizontal movements, sex, or size were detected. In addition, similar depth distributions did not necessitate similar dive patterns among sharks. Recognition of intraspecific variability in habitat use of top predators can be crucial for effective management of these species and for understanding their influence on ecosystem dynamics. PMID:24963376

  8. The complete mitochondrial genome of the salmon shark, Lamna ditropis (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Jang-Liaw, Nian-Hong; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Carlisle, Aaron; Hsu, Hua Hsun; Liao, Yun-Chih; Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the salmon shark consists of 16,699 bp and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the salmon shark is the same as that of most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (29.6%), T (28.6%), C (27.1%), and G (14.8%). PMID:24660916

  9. Migration pathways, behavioural thermoregulation and overwintering grounds of blue sharks in the Northwest Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Campana, Steven E; Dorey, Anna; Fowler, Mark; Joyce, Warren; Wang, Zeliang; Wright, Dan; Yashayaev, Igor

    2011-01-01

    The blue shark Prionace glauca is the most abundant large pelagic shark in the Atlantic Ocean. Although recaptures of tagged sharks have shown that the species is highly migratory, migration pathways towards the overwintering grounds remain poorly understood. We used archival satellite pop-up tags to track 23 blue sharks over a mean period of 88 days as they departed the coastal waters of North America in the autumn. Within 1-2 days of entering the Gulf Stream (median date of 21 Oct), all sharks initiated a striking diel vertical migration, taking them from a mean nighttime depth of 74 m to a mean depth of 412 m during the day as they appeared to pursue vertically migrating squid and fish prey. Although functionally blind at depth, calculations suggest that there would be a ~2.5-fold thermoregulatory advantage to swimming and feeding in the markedly cooler deep waters, even if there was any reduced foraging success associated with the extreme depth. Noting that the Gulf Stream current speeds are reduced at depth, we used a detailed circulation model of the North Atlantic to examine the influence of the diving behaviour on the advection experienced by the sharks. However, there was no indication that the shark diving resulted in a significant modification of their net migratory pathway. The relative abundance of deep-diving sharks, swordfish, and sperm whales in the Gulf Stream and adjacent waters suggests that it may serve as a key winter feeding ground for large pelagic predators in the North Atlantic. PMID:21373198

  10. The complete mitochondrial genome of the great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Fang, Yi-Chiao; Ho, Hsuan-Ching

    2014-10-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the great white shark having 16,744 bp and including 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the great white shark is the same as the one observed in the most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (30.6%), T (28.7%), C (26.9%) and G (13.9%). PMID:23841607

  11. Unexpected Positive Buoyancy in Deep Sea Sharks, Hexanchus griseus, and a Echinorhinus cookei

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Itsumi; Meyer, Carl G.; Sato, Katsufumi

    2015-01-01

    We do not expect non air-breathing aquatic animals to exhibit positive buoyancy. Sharks, for example, rely on oil-filled livers instead of gas-filled swim bladders to increase their buoyancy, but are nonetheless ubiquitously regarded as either negatively or neutrally buoyant. Deep-sea sharks have particularly large, oil-filled livers, and are believed to be neutrally buoyant in their natural habitat, but this has never been confirmed. To empirically determine the buoyancy status of two species of deep-sea sharks (bluntnose sixgill sharks, Hexanchus griseus, and a prickly shark, Echinorhinus cookei) in their natural habitat, we used accelerometer-magnetometer data loggers to measure their swimming performance. Both species of deep-sea sharks showed similar diel vertical migrations: they swam at depths of 200–300 m at night and deeper than 500 m during the day. Ambient water temperature was around 15°C at 200–300 m but below 7°C at depths greater than 500 m. During vertical movements, all deep-sea sharks showed higher swimming efforts during descent than ascent to maintain a given swimming speed, and were able to glide uphill for extended periods (several minutes), indicating that these deep-sea sharks are in fact positively buoyant in their natural habitats. This positive buoyancy may adaptive for stealthy hunting (i.e. upward gliding to surprise prey from underneath) or may facilitate evening upward migrations when muscle temperatures are coolest, and swimming most sluggish, after spending the day in deep, cold water. Positive buoyancy could potentially be widespread in fish conducting daily vertical migration in deep-sea habitats. PMID:26061525

  12. Proxy data constraints on Cretaceous sea surface temperature evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Charlotte L.; Robinson, Stuart A.; O'Connor, Lauren K.; Pancost, Richard D.

    2015-04-01

    It is well established that greenhouse conditions prevailed during the Cretaceous. However, constraining the exact nature of the greenhouse gas forcing, climatic warming and climate sensitivity remains an ongoing topic of research. Proxy temperature data provide valuable observational constraints on Cretaceous climate. In particular, much of our understanding of Cretaceous climate warmth comes from marine temperature proxy data reconstructions derived using planktic foraminiferal oxygen isotope (δ18O) palaeothermometry and, more recently, the TEX86 proxy, based on the distribution of marine isoprenoidal glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether lipids (GDGTs). Both of these proxies provide estimates of sea surface temperature (SST), however each technique is subject to a number of proxy-specific caveats. For example, δ18O values in planktic foraminifer may be compromised by preservation and/or diagenetic alteration, while the TEX86 proxy has undergone several temperature calibration re-evaluations and the exact mechanism that relates GDGT production to SST is not fully understood. Here we synthesise and reinterpret available TEX86- and δ18O-SST proxy data for the entire Cretaceous. For the TEX86 data, where possible we re-evaluate the fractional abundance of all individual GDGTs. By utilising fractional GDGT abundances we are also able to compute methane indices and branched and isoprenoid tetraether (BIT) indices, as well as apply both the TEX86H and TEX86L temperature calibrations. For each of the two SST proxy techniques, TEX86 and δ18O, we apply consistent temperature calibrations and place all data on a common timescale. Our new data-based SST synthesis allows us to examine long term temperature trends in the Cretaceous, including latitudinal temperature gradient variations, and evaluate global versus regional temperature patterns. Through considering both TEX86 and planktic foraminiferal δ18O data we critically compare the application of these two techniques

  13. A Comparison of Spatial and Movement Patterns between Sympatric Predators: Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) and Atlantic Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus)

    PubMed Central

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Luo, Jiangang; Irschick, Duncan J.; Ault, Jerald S.

    2012-01-01

    Background Predators can impact ecosystems through trophic cascades such that differential patterns in habitat use can lead to spatiotemporal variation in top down forcing on community dynamics. Thus, improved understanding of predator movements is important for evaluating the potential ecosystem effects of their declines. Methodology/Principal Findings We satellite-tagged an apex predator (bull sharks, Carcharhinus leucas) and a sympatric mesopredator (Atlantic tarpon, Megalops atlanticus) in southern Florida waters to describe their habitat use, abundance and movement patterns. We asked four questions: (1) How do the seasonal abundance patterns of bull sharks and tarpon compare? (2) How do the movement patterns of bull sharks and tarpon compare, and what proportion of time do their respective primary ranges overlap? (3) Do tarpon movement patterns (e.g., straight versus convoluted paths) and/or their rates of movement (ROM) differ in areas of low versus high bull shark abundance? and (4) Can any general conclusions be reached concerning whether tarpon may mitigate risk of predation by sharks when they are in areas of high bull shark abundance? Conclusions/Significance Despite similarities in diet, bull sharks and tarpon showed little overlap in habitat use. Bull shark abundance was high year-round, but peaked in winter; while tarpon abundance and fishery catches were highest in late spring. However, presence of the largest sharks (>230 cm) coincided with peak tarpon abundance. When moving over deep open waters (areas of high shark abundance and high food availability) tarpon maintained relatively high ROM in directed lines until reaching shallow structurally-complex areas. At such locations, tarpon exhibited slow tortuous movements over relatively long time periods indicative of foraging. Tarpon periodically concentrated up rivers, where tracked bull sharks were absent. We propose that tarpon trade-off energetic costs of both food assimilation and osmoregulation

  14. Microspectroscopic Evidence of Cretaceous Bone Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, Johan; Uvdal, Per; Engdahl, Anders; Lee, Andrew H.; Alwmark, Carl; Bergquist, Karl-Erik; Nilsson, Einar; Ekström, Peter; Rasmussen, Magnus; Douglas, Desirée A.; Polcyn, Michael J.; Jacobs, Louis L.

    2011-01-01

    Low concentrations of the structural protein collagen have recently been reported in dinosaur fossils based primarily on mass spectrometric analyses of whole bone extracts. However, direct spectroscopic characterization of isolated fibrous bone tissues, a crucial test of hypotheses of biomolecular preservation over deep time, has not been performed. Here, we demonstrate that endogenous proteinaceous molecules are retained in a humerus from a Late Cretaceous mosasaur (an extinct giant marine lizard). In situ immunofluorescence of demineralized bone extracts shows reactivity to antibodies raised against type I collagen, and amino acid analyses of soluble proteins extracted from the bone exhibit a composition indicative of structural proteins or their breakdown products. These data are corroborated by synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopic studies demonstrating that amino acid containing matter is located in bone matrix fibrils that express imprints of the characteristic 67 nm D-periodicity typical of collagen. Moreover, the fibrils differ significantly in spectral signature from those of potential modern bacterial contaminants, such as biofilms and collagen-like proteins. Thus, the preservation of primary soft tissues and biomolecules is not limited to large-sized bones buried in fluvial sandstone environments, but also occurs in relatively small-sized skeletal elements deposited in marine sediments. PMID:21559386

  15. Testing Iberia Kinematics at Jurassic-Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neres, Marta; Miranda, J. Miguel; Font, Eric

    2013-04-01

    Paleogeographic reconstructions of Iberia at Mesozoic are still a matter of debate. A major problem resides in the incompatibility existing between kinematic models and paleomagnetic data older than 120 Ma. Here, we investigate the origin of this misfit by finding and testing euler poles that fit Iberian mean paleomagnetic poles (123, 130 and 151 Ma) with global APWP. At 123 Ma 130 Ma, no geologically plausible solutions were found, questioning the validity of corresponding paleomagnetic data. Contrarily, for 151 Ma mean pole, coherent solutions were simulated, suggesting respective paleomagnetic data as potentially reliable. Based on these results, we propose a new magnetic reconstruction for Iberia and surrounding plates at ~150 Ma, to which corresponds the IB-NAM euler pole -18.08 / 67.54 / -57.72 (long / lat / angle). This is the first pre-drift reconstruction for Iberia to be compatible with paleomagnetic data. A complete and coherent model for the Jurassic-Cretaceous kinematic evolution of Iberia is still dependent on more and better paleomagnetic poles and on a reevaluation of magnetic anomalies, for which several problems remain unsolved.

  16. Movement Patterns of Juvenile Whale Sharks Tagged at an Aggregation Site in the Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Berumen, Michael L.; Braun, Camrin D.; Cochran, Jesse E. M.; Skomal, Gregory B.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report on the movements of 47 Red Sea whale sharks fitted with three types of satellite transmitting tags from 2009–2011. Most of these sharks were tagged at a single aggregation site near Al-Lith, on the central coast of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Individuals encountered at this site were all juveniles based on size estimates ranging from 2.5–7 m total length with a sex ratio of approximately 1∶1. All other known aggregation sites for juvenile whale sharks are dominated by males. Results from tagging efforts showed that most individuals remained in the southern Red Sea and that some sharks returned to the same location in subsequent years. Diving data were recorded by 37 tags, revealing frequent deep dives to at least 500 m and as deep as 1360 m. The unique temperature-depth profiles of the Red Sea confirmed that several whale sharks moved out of the Red Sea while tagged. The wide-ranging horizontal movements of these individuals highlight the need for multinational, cooperative efforts to conserve R. typus populations in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. PMID:25076407

  17. Somatic hypermutation of TCR γ V genes in the sandbar shark.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Bernstein, Harris; Ranganathan, Parvathi; Schluter, Samuel F

    2012-05-01

    In a recent publication we demonstrated that somatic hypermutation occurs in the V region of the TCR γ gene of the sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus). We hypothesize that similar mechanisms are used to generate somatic mutations in both immunoglobulin and TCR γ genes of the sharks. Two distinct patterns of mutation occur, single nucleotide mutations (point mutations) and mutations comprising 2-5 consecutive bases (tandem mutations). Our data indicates that point mutations occur by a mechanism similar to that of somatic hypermutation in immunoglobulin genes of mammals, whereas tandem mutations may be generated by an error-prone DNA polymerase with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-like activity. Shark hotspot motifs identical to those of higher vertebrates were identified. We confirm that, as in immunoglobulin of sharks and higher vertebrates, highly significant targeting of AID activity to the classical DGYW/WRCH motif occurs in somatic hypermutation of sandbar shark TCR γ V genes. Our analysis suggests that the purpose of somatic mutations in shark TCR γ V-regions is to generate a more diverse repertoire in γ/δ receptors, rather than receptors with higher affinity. PMID:21925537

  18. High connectivity of the crocodile shark between the Atlantic and Southwest Indian Oceans: highlights for conservation.

    PubMed

    da Silva Ferrette, Bruno Lopes; Mendonça, Fernando Fernandes; Coelho, Rui; de Oliveira, Paulo Guilherme Vasconcelos; Hazin, Fábio Hissa Vieira; Romanov, Evgeny V; Oliveira, Claudio; Santos, Miguel Neves; Foresti, Fausto

    2015-01-01

    Among the various shark species that are captured as bycatch in commercial fishing operations, the group of pelagic sharks is still one of the least studied and known. Within those, the crocodile shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai, a small-sized lamnid shark, is occasionally caught by longline vessels in certain regions of the tropical oceans worldwide. However, the population dynamics of this species, as well as the impact of fishing mortality on its stocks, are still unknown, with the crocodile shark currently one of the least studied of all pelagic sharks. Given this, the present study aimed to assess the population structure of P. kamoharai in several regions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans using genetic molecular markers. The nucleotide composition of the mitochondrial DNA control region of 255 individuals was analyzed, and 31 haplotypes were found, with an estimated diversity Hd = 0.627, and a nucleotide diversity π = 0.00167. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed a fixation index ΦST = -0.01118, representing an absence of population structure among the sampled regions of the Atlantic Ocean, and between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. These results show a high degree of gene flow between the studied areas, with a single genetic stock and reduced population variability. In panmictic populations, conservation efforts can be concentrated in more restricted areas, being these representative of the total biodiversity of the species. When necessary, this strategy could be applied to the genetic maintenance of P. kamoharai. PMID:25689742

  19. Uptake of human pharmaceuticals in bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) inhabiting a wastewater-impacted river.

    PubMed

    Gelsleichter, James; Szabo, Nancy J

    2013-07-01

    The presence of human pharmaceuticals in sewage-impacted ecosystems is a growing concern that poses health risks to aquatic wildlife. Despite this, few studies have investigated the uptake of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in aquatic organisms. In this study, the uptake of 9 APIs from human drugs was examined and compared in neonate bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) residing in pristine (Myakka River) and wastewater-impacted (Caloosahatchee River) tributaries of Florida's Charlotte Harbor estuary. The synthetic estrogen used in human contraceptives (17α-ethynylestradiol) and 6 of the selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine) used in human antidepressants were observed at detectable and, in some cases, quantifiable levels in plasma of Caloosahatchee River sharks. Comparatively, only venlafaxine was detected in the plasma of a single Myakka River shark at a level below the limit of quantitation. These results suggest that sharks residing in wastewater-impacted habitats accumulate APIs, a factor that may pose special risks to C. leucas since it is one of few shark species to regularly occupy freshwater systems. Further research is needed to determine if the low levels of API uptake observed in Caloosahatchee River bull sharks pose health risks to these animals. PMID:23602972

  20. A Novel Mini-DNA Barcoding Assay to Identify Processed Fins from Internationally Protected Shark Species

    PubMed Central

    Fields, Andrew T.; Abercrombie, Debra L.; Eng, Rowena; Feldheim, Kevin; Chapman, Demian D.

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing need to identify shark products in trade, in part due to the recent listing of five commercially important species on the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES; porbeagle, Lamna nasus, oceanic whitetip, Carcharhinus longimanus scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini, smooth hammerhead, S. zygaena and great hammerhead S. mokarran) in addition to three species listed in the early part of this century (whale, Rhincodon typus, basking, Cetorhinus maximus, and white, Carcharodon carcharias). Shark fins are traded internationally to supply the Asian dried seafood market, in which they are used to make the luxury dish shark fin soup. Shark fins usually enter international trade with their skin still intact and can be identified using morphological characters or standard DNA-barcoding approaches. Once they reach Asia and are traded in this region the skin is removed and they are treated with chemicals that eliminate many key diagnostic characters and degrade their DNA (“processed fins”). Here, we present a validated mini-barcode assay based on partial sequences of the cytochrome oxidase I gene that can reliably identify the processed fins of seven of the eight CITES listed shark species. We also demonstrate that the assay can even frequently identify the species or genus of origin of shark fin soup (31 out of 50 samples). PMID:25646789

  1. A novel mini-DNA barcoding assay to identify processed fins from internationally protected shark species.

    PubMed

    Fields, Andrew T; Abercrombie, Debra L; Eng, Rowena; Feldheim, Kevin; Chapman, Demian D

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing need to identify shark products in trade, in part due to the recent listing of five commercially important species on the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES; porbeagle, Lamna nasus, oceanic whitetip, Carcharhinus longimanus scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini, smooth hammerhead, S. zygaena and great hammerhead S. mokarran) in addition to three species listed in the early part of this century (whale, Rhincodon typus, basking, Cetorhinus maximus, and white, Carcharodon carcharias). Shark fins are traded internationally to supply the Asian dried seafood market, in which they are used to make the luxury dish shark fin soup. Shark fins usually enter international trade with their skin still intact and can be identified using morphological characters or standard DNA-barcoding approaches. Once they reach Asia and are traded in this region the skin is removed and they are treated with chemicals that eliminate many key diagnostic characters and degrade their DNA ("processed fins"). Here, we present a validated mini-barcode assay based on partial sequences of the cytochrome oxidase I gene that can reliably identify the processed fins of seven of the eight CITES listed shark species. We also demonstrate that the assay can even frequently identify the species or genus of origin of shark fin soup (31 out of 50 samples). PMID:25646789

  2. An Unprecedented Aggregation of Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican Coastal Waters of the Caribbean Sea

    PubMed Central

    de la Parra Venegas, Rafael; Hueter, Robert; González Cano, Jaime; Tyminski, John; Gregorio Remolina, José; Maslanka, Mike; Ormos, Andrea; Weigt, Lee; Carlson, Bruce; Dove, Alistair

    2011-01-01

    Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed “the Afuera”) that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts. PMID:21559508

  3. Novel acoustic technology for studying free-ranging shark social behaviour by recording individuals' interactions.

    PubMed

    Guttridge, Tristan L; Gruber, Samuel H; Krause, Jens; Sims, David W

    2010-01-01

    Group behaviours are widespread among fish but comparatively little is known about the interactions between free-ranging individuals and how these might change across different spatio-temporal scales. This is largely due to the difficulty of observing wild fish groups directly underwater over long enough time periods to quantify group structure and individual associations. Here we describe the use of a novel technology, an animal-borne acoustic proximity receiver that records close-spatial associations between free-ranging fish by detection of acoustic signals emitted from transmitters on other individuals. Validation trials, held within enclosures in the natural environment, on juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris fitted with external receivers and transmitters, showed receivers logged interactions between individuals regularly when sharks were within 4 m ( approximately 4 body lengths) of each other, but rarely when at 10 m distance. A field trial lasting 17 days with 5 juvenile lemon sharks implanted with proximity receivers showed one receiver successfully recorded association data, demonstrating this shark associated with 9 other juvenile lemon sharks on 128 occasions. This study describes the use of acoustic underwater proximity receivers to quantify interactions among wild sharks, setting the scene for new advances in understanding the social behaviours of marine animals. PMID:20174465

  4. Movement patterns of juvenile whale sharks tagged at an aggregation site in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Berumen, Michael L; Braun, Camrin D; Cochran, Jesse E M; Skomal, Gregory B; Thorrold, Simon R

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report on the movements of 47 Red Sea whale sharks fitted with three types of satellite transmitting tags from 2009-2011. Most of these sharks were tagged at a single aggregation site near Al-Lith, on the central coast of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Individuals encountered at this site were all juveniles based on size estimates ranging from 2.5-7 m total length with a sex ratio of approximately 1∶1. All other known aggregation sites for juvenile whale sharks are dominated by males. Results from tagging efforts showed that most individuals remained in the southern Red Sea and that some sharks returned to the same location in subsequent years. Diving data were recorded by 37 tags, revealing frequent deep dives to at least 500 m and as deep as 1360 m. The unique temperature-depth profiles of the Red Sea confirmed that several whale sharks moved out of the Red Sea while tagged. The wide-ranging horizontal movements of these individuals highlight the need for multinational, cooperative efforts to conserve R. typus populations in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. PMID:25076407

  5. An unprecedented aggregation of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    PubMed

    de la Parra Venegas, Rafael; Hueter, Robert; González Cano, Jaime; Tyminski, John; Gregorio Remolina, José; Maslanka, Mike; Ormos, Andrea; Weigt, Lee; Carlson, Bruce; Dove, Alistair

    2011-01-01

    Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed "the Afuera") that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km(2). Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts. PMID:21559508

  6. Effects of an Electric Field on White Sharks: In Situ Testing of an Electric Deterrent

    PubMed Central

    Huveneers, Charlie; Rogers, Paul J.; Semmens, Jayson M.; Beckmann, Crystal; Kock, Alison A.; Page, Brad; Goldsworthy, Simon D.

    2013-01-01

    Elasmobranchs can detect minute electromagnetic fields, <1 nVcm–1, using their ampullae of Lorenzini. Behavioural responses to electric fields have been investigated in various species, sometimes with the aim to develop shark deterrents to improve human safety. The present study tested the effects of the Shark Shield Freedom7™ electric deterrent on (1) the behaviour of 18 white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) near a static bait, and (2) the rates of attacks on a towed seal decoy. In the first experiment, 116 trials using a static bait were performed at the Neptune Islands, South Australia. The proportion of baits taken during static bait trials was not affected by the electric field. The electric field, however, increased the time it took them to consume the bait, the number of interactions per approach, and decreased the proportion of interactions within two metres of the field source. The effect of the electric field was not uniform across all sharks. In the second experiment, 189 tows using a seal decoy were conducted near Seal Island, South Africa. No breaches and only two surface interactions were observed during the tows when the electric field was activated, compared with 16 breaches and 27 surface interactions without the electric field. The present study suggests that the behavioural response of white sharks and the level of risk reduction resulting from the electric field is contextually specific, and depends on the motivational state of sharks. PMID:23658766

  7. An Experimental Study of Flow Separation Control by Shortfin Mako Shark Skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afroz, Farhana; Lang, Amy; Motta, Philip; Habegger, Maria

    2013-11-01

    The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is a fast swimmer and has incredible turning agility. Shark skin is covered with flexible scales and this bristling capability may result in a unique Boundary Layer Control (BLC) method to reduce drag. It is hypothesized that scales bristle when the flow above it is reversed, and between the bristled scales embedded micro-vortices form in the cavities which induce boundary layer mixing and aid in delaying flow separation. To testify this hypothesis, samples of mako shark skin have been tested in a water tunnel under various strengths of adverse pressure gradient (APG). Laminar and turbulent separation over shark skin was studied experimentally using Time-Resolved Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (TR-DPIV) system, where the APG was generated and varied using a rotating cylinder. Then shark skin results were compared with that of a flat plate data for a given amount of APG. The study reveals that shark skin is capable of controlling both laminar and turbulent flow separation. Support under NSF grant 0932352 is gratefully acknowledged. First author Farhana Afroz was also supported by a scholarship through the Alabama EPSCoR Graduate Research Scholars Program.

  8. Gonadal Morphology, Histology, and Endocrinological Characteristics of Immature Female Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus.

    PubMed

    Nozu, Ryo; Murakumo, Kiyomi; Matsumoto, Rui; Nakamura, Masaru; Ueda, Keiichi; Sato, Keiichi

    2015-10-01

    Captive breeding of whale sharks is one of the great challenges for aquariums. However, there is limited information available related to reproductive physiology due to the difficulty of sampling and long-term observation. In the present report, we provide information on the reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, which were incidentally captured as bycatch in a set-net off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Total lengths of three captured female whale sharks were 403, 665, and 761 cm, respectively, at the time of their death. Collected paired ovaries differed in size between right and left. However, it seems not to determine which side of ovary becomes developed. Histological observations revealed that oocytes surrounded by follicle cell layers localized in the developed ovary, and most developed oocytes exhibited yolk vesicle stage. Additionally, in the largest specimen, there were low levels of three steroid hormones (Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, and Estradiol-17ß) that did not show seasonal variation. The present results indicate that even the whale shark over 7 m in TL are still histologically and endocrinologically immature. We expect that the present data will provide fundamental information related to reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, and will contribute to protection activities and increased success in captive breeding of whale sharks. PMID:26428723

  9. Novel Acoustic Technology for Studying Free-Ranging Shark Social Behaviour by Recording Individuals' Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Guttridge, Tristan L.; Gruber, Samuel H.; Krause, Jens; Sims, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Group behaviours are widespread among fish but comparatively little is known about the interactions between free-ranging individuals and how these might change across different spatio-temporal scales. This is largely due to the difficulty of observing wild fish groups directly underwater over long enough time periods to quantify group structure and individual associations. Here we describe the use of a novel technology, an animal-borne acoustic proximity receiver that records close-spatial associations between free-ranging fish by detection of acoustic signals emitted from transmitters on other individuals. Validation trials, held within enclosures in the natural environment, on juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris fitted with external receivers and transmitters, showed receivers logged interactions between individuals regularly when sharks were within 4 m (∼4 body lengths) of each other, but rarely when at 10 m distance. A field trial lasting 17 days with 5 juvenile lemon sharks implanted with proximity receivers showed one receiver successfully recorded association data, demonstrating this shark associated with 9 other juvenile lemon sharks on 128 occasions. This study describes the use of acoustic underwater proximity receivers to quantify interactions among wild sharks, setting the scene for new advances in understanding the social behaviours of marine animals. PMID:20174465

  10. Multiple prismatic calcium phosphate layers in the jaws of present-day sharks (Chondrichthyes; Selachii).

    PubMed

    Dingerkus, G; Séret, B; Guilbert, E

    1991-01-15

    Jaws of large individuals, over 2 m in total length, of the shark species Carcharodon carcharias (great white shark) and Isurus oxyrinchus (mako shark) of the family Lamnidae, and Galeocerdo cuvieri (tiger shark) and Carcharhinus leucas (bull shark) of the family Carcharhinidae were found to have multiple, up to five, layers of prismatic calcium phosphate surrounding the cartilages. Smaller individuals of these species and other known species of living chondrichthyans have only one layer of prismatic calcium phosphate surrounding the cartilages, as also do most species of fossil chondrichthyans. Two exceptions are the fossil shark genera Xenacanthus and Tamiobatis. Where it is found in living forms, this multiple layered calcification does not appear to be phylogenetic, as it appears to be lacking in other lamnid and carcharhinid genera and species. Rather it appears to be functional, only appearing in larger individuals and species of these two groups, and hence may be necessary to strengthen the jaw cartilages of such individuals for biting. PMID:1999241

  11. Odor tracking in sharks is reduced under future ocean acidification conditions.

    PubMed

    Dixson, Danielle L; Jennings, Ashley R; Atema, Jelle; Munday, Philip L

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies show that ocean acidification impairs sensory functions and alters the behavior of teleost fishes. If sharks and other elasmobranchs are similarly affected, this could have significant consequences for marine ecosystems globally. Here, we show that projected future CO2 levels impair odor tracking behavior of the smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). Adult M. canis were held for 5 days in a current-day control (405 ± 26 μatm) and mid (741 ± 22 μatm) or high CO2 (1064 ± 17 μatm) treatments consistent with the projections for the year 2100 on a 'business as usual' scenario. Both control and mid CO2 -treated individuals maintained normal odor tracking behavior, whereas high CO2 -treated sharks significantly avoided the odor cues indicative of food. Control sharks spent >60% of their time in the water stream containing the food stimulus, but this value fell below 15% in high CO2 -treated sharks. In addition, sharks treated under mid and high CO2 conditions reduced attack behavior compared to the control individuals. Our findings show that shark feeding could be affected by changes in seawater chemistry projected for the end of this century. Understanding the effects of ocean acidification on critical behaviors, such as prey tracking in large predators, can help determine the potential impacts of future ocean acidification on ecosystem function. PMID:25111824

  12. Large-proportional shrunken bio-replication of shark skin based on UV-curing shrinkage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Huawei; Che, Da; Zhang, Xin; Yue, Yue; Zhang, Deyuan

    2015-01-01

    The shark skin effect has attracted worldwide attention because of its superior drag reduction. As the product of natural selection, the maximum drag reduction of shark skin is found in its normal living environment. Large-proportional shrinkage of shark skin morphology is greatly anticipated for its adaptation to faster fluid flow. One novel approach, large-proportional shrunken bio-replication, is proposed as a method to adjust the optimal drag reduction region of shark skin based on the shrinkage of UV-cured material. The shark skin is taken as a replica template to allow large-proportional shrinking in the drag reduction morphology by taking advantage of the shrinkage of UV-curable material. The accuracy of the large-proportional shrunken bio-replication approach is verified by a comparison between original and shrunken bio-replicated shark skin, which shows that the shrinking ratio can reach 23% and the bio-replication accuracy is higher than 95%. In addition, the translation of the optimum drag reduction peak of natural surface function to various applications and environments is proved by drag reduction experiments.

  13. Effects of an electric field on white sharks: in situ testing of an electric deterrent.

    PubMed

    Huveneers, Charlie; Rogers, Paul J; Semmens, Jayson M; Beckmann, Crystal; Kock, Alison A; Page, Brad; Goldsworthy, Simon D

    2013-01-01

    Elasmobranchs can detect minute electromagnetic fields, <1 nV cm(-1), using their ampullae of Lorenzini. Behavioural responses to electric fields have been investigated in various species, sometimes with the aim to develop shark deterrents to improve human safety. The present study tested the effects of the Shark Shield Freedom7™ electric deterrent on (1) the behaviour of 18 white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) near a static bait, and (2) the rates of attacks on a towed seal decoy. In the first experiment, 116 trials using a static bait were performed at the Neptune Islands, South Australia. The proportion of baits taken during static bait trials was not affected by the electric field. The electric field, however, increased the time it took them to consume the bait, the number of interactions per approach, and decreased the proportion of interactions within two metres of the field source. The effect of the electric field was not uniform across all sharks. In the second experiment, 189 tows using a seal decoy were conducted near Seal Island, South Africa. No breaches and only two surface interactions were observed during the tows when the electric field was activated, compared with 16 breaches and 27 surface interactions without the electric field. The present study suggests that the behavioural response of white sharks and the level of risk reduction resulting from the electric field is contextually specific, and depends on the motivational state of sharks. PMID:23658766

  14. High Connectivity of the Crocodile Shark between the Atlantic and Southwest Indian Oceans: Highlights for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    da Silva Ferrette, Bruno Lopes; Mendonça, Fernando Fernandes; Coelho, Rui; de Oliveira, Paulo Guilherme Vasconcelos; Hazin, Fábio Hissa Vieira; Romanov, Evgeny V.; Oliveira, Claudio; Santos, Miguel Neves; Foresti, Fausto

    2015-01-01

    Among the various shark species that are captured as bycatch in commercial fishing operations, the group of pelagic sharks is still one of the least studied and known. Within those, the crocodile shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai, a small-sized lamnid shark, is occasionally caught by longline vessels in certain regions of the tropical oceans worldwide. However, the population dynamics of this species, as well as the impact of fishing mortality on its stocks, are still unknown, with the crocodile shark currently one of the least studied of all pelagic sharks. Given this, the present study aimed to assess the population structure of P. kamoharai in several regions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans using genetic molecular markers. The nucleotide composition of the mitochondrial DNA control region of 255 individuals was analyzed, and 31 haplotypes were found, with an estimated diversity Hd = 0.627, and a nucleotide diversity π = 0.00167. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed a fixation index ΦST = -0.01118, representing an absence of population structure among the sampled regions of the Atlantic Ocean, and between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. These results show a high degree of gene flow between the studied areas, with a single genetic stock and reduced population variability. In panmictic populations, conservation efforts can be concentrated in more restricted areas, being these representative of the total biodiversity of the species. When necessary, this strategy could be applied to the genetic maintenance of P. kamoharai. PMID:25689742

  15. Sharks modulate their escape behavior in response to predator size, speed and approach orientation.

    PubMed

    Seamone, Scott; Blaine, Tristan; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-12-01

    Escape responses are often critical for surviving predator-prey interactions. Nevertheless, little is known about how predator size, speed and approach orientation impact escape performance, especially in larger prey that are primarily viewed as predators. We used realistic shark models to examine how altering predatory behavior and morphology (size, speed and approach orientation) influences escape behavior and performance in Squalus acanthias, a shark that is preyed upon by apex marine predators. Predator models induced C-start escape responses, and increasing the size and speed of the models triggered a more intense response (increased escape turning rate and acceleration). In addition, increased predator size resulted in greater responsiveness from the sharks. Among the responses, predator approach orientation had the most significant impact on escapes, such that the head-on approach, as compared to the tail-on approach, induced greater reaction distances and increased escape turning rate, speed and acceleration. Thus, the anterior binocular vision in sharks renders them less effective at detecting predators approaching from behind. However, it appears that sharks compensate by performing high-intensity escapes, likely induced by the lateral line system, or by a sudden visual flash of the predator entering their field of view. Our study reveals key aspects of escape behavior in sharks, highlighting the modulation of performance in response to predator approach. PMID:25041843

  16. Environmental Influences on the Abundance and Sexual Composition of White Sharks Carcharodon carcharias in Gansbaai, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Towner, Alison V.; Underhill, Les G.; Jewell, Oliver J. D.; Smale, Malcolm J.

    2013-01-01

    The seasonal occurrence of white sharks visiting Gansbaai, South Africa was investigated from 2007 to 2011 using sightings from white shark cage diving boats. Generalized linear models were used to investigate the number of great white sharks sighted per trip in relation to sex, month, sea surface temperature and Multivariate El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Indices (MEI). Water conditions are more variable in summer than winter due to wind-driven cold water upwelling and thermocline displacement, culminating in colder water temperatures, and shark sightings of both sexes were higher during the autumn and winter months (March–August). MEI, an index to quantify the strength of Southern Oscillation, differed in its effect on the recorded numbers of male and female white sharks, with highly significant interannual trends. This data suggests that water temperature and climatic phenomena influence the abundance of white sharks at this coastal site. In this study, more females were seen in Gansbaai overall in warmer water/positive MEI years. Conversely, the opposite trend was observed for males. In cool water years (2010 to 2011) sightings of male sharks were significantly higher than in previous years. The influence of environmental factors on the physiology of sharks in terms of their size and sex is discussed. The findings of this study could contribute to bather safety programmes because the incorporation of environmental parameters into predictive models may help identify times and localities of higher risk to bathers and help mitigate human-white shark interactions. PMID:23951111

  17. Use of a fishery-independent trawl survey to evaluate distribution patterns of subadult sharks in Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belcher, C.N.; Jennings, Cecil A.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the utility of a fishery-independent trawl survey for assessing a potential multispecies shark nursery in Georgia's nearshore and inshore waters. A total of 234 subadult sharks from six species were captured during 85 of 216 trawls. Catch rates and size distributions for subadult sharks and the ratio of neonates to juveniles were consistent among areas. The highest concentrations of subadult sharks occurred in creeks and sounds. Species composition varied among areas. The Atlantic sharpnose shark Rhizoprionodon terraenovae was the most abundant species in sound and nearshore stations, whereas the bonnethead Sphyrna tiburo was the most abundant species in creeks. The aggregate of other species occurred with higher frequency in the sounds and nearshore. Sampling characteristics of the trawl survey were compared with those from a fishery-independent longline survey of subadult sharks to assess the similarity of the two gears. A total of 193 subadult sharks from seven species were captured during 57 of 96 longline sets, whereas 52 subadults from four species were captured during 20 of 48 trawls. Selectivity and efficiency differed between the two gears. The trawl had lower catch rates, caught smaller sharks, and encountered a different suite of species than the longline. General seasonal trends in relative abundance also differed between the two gears; the longline showed an increasing trend in abundance, whereas the trawl showed a stable trend. Although trawls were not found to be efficient for sampling subadult sharks from most species, they can be a useful source of supplemental data.

  18. Environmental influences on the abundance and sexual composition of white sharks Carcharodon carcharias in Gansbaai, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Towner, Alison V; Underhill, Les G; Jewell, Oliver J D; Smale, Malcolm J

    2013-01-01

    The seasonal occurrence of white sharks visiting Gansbaai, South Africa was investigated from 2007 to 2011 using sightings from white shark cage diving boats. Generalized linear models were used to investigate the number of great white sharks sighted per trip in relation to sex, month, sea surface temperature and Multivariate El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Indices (MEI). Water conditions are more variable in summer than winter due to wind-driven cold water upwelling and thermocline displacement, culminating in colder water temperatures, and shark sightings of both sexes were higher during the autumn and winter months (March-August). MEI, an index to quantify the strength of Southern Oscillation, differed in its effect on the recorded numbers of male and female white sharks, with highly significant interannual trends. This data suggests that water temperature and climatic phenomena influence the abundance of white sharks at this coastal site. In this study, more females were seen in Gansbaai overall in warmer water/positive MEI years. Conversely, the opposite trend was observed for males. In cool water years (2010 to 2011) sightings of male sharks were significantly higher than in previous years. The influence of environmental factors on the physiology of sharks in terms of their size and sex is discussed. The findings of this study could contribute to bather safety programmes because the incorporation of environmental parameters into predictive models may help identify times and localities of higher risk to bathers and help mitigate human-white shark interactions. PMID:23951111

  19. Identification of shark species composition and proportion in the Hong Kong shark fin market based on molecular genetics and trade records.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Shelley C; Magnussen, Jennifer E; Abercrombie, Debra L; McAllister, Murdoch K; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2006-02-01

    The burgeoning and largely unregulated trade in shark fins represents one of the most serious threats to shark populations worldwide. In Hong Kong, the world's largest shark fin market, fins are classified by traders into Chinese-name categories on the basis of market value, but the relationship between market category and shark species is unclear preventing identification of species that are the most heavily traded. To delineate these relationships, we designed a sampling strategy for collecting statistically sufficient numbers of fins from traders and categories under conditions of limited market access because of heightened trader sensitivities. Based on information from traders and morphological inspection, we hypothesized matches between market names and shark taxa for fins within 11 common trade categories. These hypotheses were tested using DNA-based species identification techniques to determine the concordance between market category and species. Only 14 species made up approximately 40% of the auctioned fin weight. The proportion of samples confirming the hypothesized match, or concordance, varied from 0.64 to 1 across the market categories. We incorporated the concordance information and available market auction records for these categories into stochastic models to estimate the contribution of each taxon by weight to the fin trade. Auctioned fin weight was dominated by the blue shark (Prionace glauca), which was 17% of the overall market. Other taxa, including the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), silky (Carcharhinus falciformis), sandbar (C. obscurus), bull (C. leucas), hammerhead (Sphyrna spp.), and thresher (Alopias spp.), were at least 2-6% of the trade. Our approach to marketplace monitoring of wildlife products isparticularly applicable to situations in which quantitative data at the source of resource extraction are sparse and large-scale genetic testing is limited by budgetary or other market access constraints. PMID:16909673

  20. Molecular evolution of shark C-type natriuretic peptides.

    PubMed

    Takano, M; Sasayama, Y; Takei, Y

    1994-06-01

    C-type natriuretic peptides (CNP) of varying length were isolated from the atrium or ventricle of a shark, Lamna ditropis and their amino acid sequences were determined. Although the sequence of Lamna CNP was highly homologous to those of other CNPs sequenced to date, the Lamna CNP-41, the longest CNP identified in this study, has one amino acid replacement from those of Triakis scyllia and Scyliorhinus canicula, and three amino acid replacements from that of Squalus acanthias. The degree of similarity of CNP molecules coincides well with their systematic positions in the cladogram of elasmobranchs; Lamna, Triakis and Scyliorhinus belong to the same order, but Lamna and Squalus belong to different orders. The facts that Lamna and Triakis are in different suborders but Triakis and Scyliorhinus are in the same suborder and have identical CNP-41, also support this evolutionary implication. PMID:7765421

  1. Evidence for reproductive philopatry in the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas.

    PubMed

    Tillett, B J; Meekan, M G; Field, I C; Thorburn, D C; Ovenden, J R

    2012-05-01

    Reproductive philopatry in bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas was investigated by comparing mitochondrial (NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4, 797 base pairs and control region genes 837 base pairs) and nuclear (three microsatellite loci) DNA of juveniles sampled from 13 river systems across northern Australia. High mitochondrial and low microsatellite genetic diversity among juveniles sampled from different rivers (mitochondrial φ(ST) = 0·0767, P < 0·05; microsatellite F(ST) = -0·0022, P > 0·05) supported female reproductive philopatry. Genetic structure was not further influenced by geographic distance (P > 0·05) or long-shore barriers to movement (P > 0·05). Additionally, results suggest that C. leucas in northern Australia has a long-term effective population size of 11 000-13 000 females and has undergone population bottlenecks and expansions that coincide with the timing of the last ice-ages. PMID:22551174

  2. Complete mitochondrial genome of the brownbanded bamboo shark Chiloscyllium punctatum.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao; Zhou, Zhiming; Pichai, Sonchaeng; Huang, Xiaolin; Zhang, Huawei

    2014-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the brownbanded bamboo shark Chiloscyllium punctatum was obtained for the first time in this study. The mitogenome is 16,703 bp in length, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and one control region. The gene order and direction of transcription of C. punctatum is identical to most vertebrates. The strong codon usage bias against the G was found in the third codon positions of H-strand-encoded protein genes. The tRNA-Ser2 lost dihydrouridine arm and could not be fold into the typical cloverleaf secondary structure. In the control region, the termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence blocks domain were identified. PMID:23594278

  3. Occurrence of the megatoothed sharks (Lamniformes: Otodontidae) in Alabama, USA

    PubMed Central

    Ebersole, Jun

    2014-01-01

    The Otodontidae include some of the largest sharks to ever live in the world’s oceans (i.e., Carcharocles megalodon). Here we report on Paleocene and Eocene occurrences of Otodus obliquus and Carcharocles auriculatus from Alabama, USA. Teeth of Otodus are rarely encountered in the Gulf Coastal Plain and this report is one of the first records for Alabama. Carcharocles auriculatus is more common in the Eocene deposits of Alabama, but its occurrence has been largely overlooked in the literature. We also refute the occurrence of the Oligocene Carcharocles angustidens in the state. Raised awareness and increased collecting of under-sampled geologic formations in Alabama will likely increase sample sizes of O. obliquus and C. auriculatus and also might unearth other otodontids, such as C. megalodon and C. chubutensis. PMID:25332848

  4. Mitochondrial genome of the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao; Liu, Min; Peng, Zaiqing; Shi, Xiaofang

    2015-01-01

    The bull shark Carcharhinus leucas is a large elasmobranch species widespread in tropical and warm oceans, rivers and lakes. We first determine the complete mitogenome of C. leucas in this article. It is 16,704 bp in length, consists 37 genes and one control region with the typical gene order in vertebrates. The ND6 gene used the rare AGG as stop codon. The 22 tRNA genes ranged from 67 to 75 bp. The tRNA-Ser2 lacks the dihydrouridine arm and cannot form the typical cloverleaf structure. The control region is 1066 bp in length with high A+T and low G contents. PMID:24409857

  5. High hemoglobin mixed disulfide content in hemolysates from stressed shark.

    PubMed

    Dafré, A L; Reischl, E

    1990-01-01

    1. Hemolysate from heavily stressed smooth hammerhead shark, Sphyrna zygaena, shows three electrophoretic components, SZ I, SZ II and SZ III, whose relative concentrations are 36.4 +/- 6.8, 36.4 +/- 5.0 and 20.8 +/- 5.7%, respectively. After reduction with DTE only SZ I remained. 2. SZ I reacted with glutathione disulfide reconstitute SZ II and SZ III. 3. Non-reduced, DTE-reduced, and denatured hemoglobin were found to have 2.0 +/- 0.4, 3.7 +/- 0.6, and 9.4 +/- 0.7-SH groups, respectively. 4. Erythrocyte non-protein--SH (NPSH), including glutathione present as mixed disulfide with SZ II and SZ III, is 1.7 NPSH/Hb. PMID:2361357

  6. Occurrence of the megatoothed sharks (Lamniformes: Otodontidae) in Alabama, USA.

    PubMed

    Ehret, Dana J; Ebersole, Jun

    2014-01-01

    The Otodontidae include some of the largest sharks to ever live in the world's oceans (i.e., Carcharocles megalodon). Here we report on Paleocene and Eocene occurrences of Otodus obliquus and Carcharocles auriculatus from Alabama, USA. Teeth of Otodus are rarely encountered in the Gulf Coastal Plain and this report is one of the first records for Alabama. Carcharocles auriculatus is more common in the Eocene deposits of Alabama, but its occurrence has been largely overlooked in the literature. We also refute the occurrence of the Oligocene Carcharocles angustidens in the state. Raised awareness and increased collecting of under-sampled geologic formations in Alabama will likely increase sample sizes of O. obliquus and C. auriculatus and also might unearth other otodontids, such as C. megalodon and C. chubutensis. PMID:25332848

  7. Sojourner Rover View of Shark and Half Dome

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The rounded knobs (arrows) up to 3 or 4 cm wide on Shark (left; approximately 70 cm wide)) and Half Dome (upper right) and in the foreground could be pebbles in a cemented matrix of clays, silts, and sands; such rocks are called conglomerates. Well-rounded objects like these were not seen at the Viking sites.

    NOTE: original caption as published in Science Magazine.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  8. Microbial mats and modern stromatolites in Shark Bay, Western Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golubic, S.

    1985-01-01

    Distribution, external morphology, texture, and microbial composition of microbial mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia, have been studied and reviewed along a composite representative profile starting from the permanently submerged zone, across the zones of periodic flooding, toward permanently emerged land and coastal dunes. The following nine types of algal mats have been recognized: colloform, gelatinous, smooth, pincushion, tufted, mamillate, film, reticulate, and blister. Solar ponds represent a particular environment. The mat types represent microbial communities that are characterized by one or more dominant microorganisms. The colonization and stabilization of loose sediment is carried out by a microbial assemblage of generalists that prepare the ground for later replacement and succession by specialized microflora. Lithification of microbial mats takes place periodically, mainly during the austral summer. This process is destructive for the microbial community but increases the preservation potential of the stromatolitic structures.

  9. The synthesis of spermine analogs of the shark aminosterol squalamine.

    PubMed

    Shu, Youheng; Jones, Stephen R; Kinney, William A; Selinsky, Barry S

    2002-03-01

    Aminosterols isolated from the dogfish shark Squalus acanthias are promising therapeutic agents in the treatment of infection and cancer. One of these, MSI-1436, has been shown to possess antimicrobial activity slightly better than squalamine. In this study, a series of analogs of MSI-1436 have been synthesized from stigmasterol. The 7 alpha-hydroxy substituent of MSI-1436 was either omitted or the stereochemistry modified to the 7 beta position. Also, analogs of MSI-1436 with 24-sulfate, 24-amino, and 24-hydroxy substituents were synthesized in order to assess the importance of the side chain functional group on antimicrobial activity. All of the analogs possess significant antimicrobial activity, suggesting that substitution at C7 and C24 of the aminosterols plays a minor role in their antimicrobial potency. PMID:11856553

  10. Late Cretaceous sea level from a paleoshoreline

    SciTech Connect

    McDonough, K.J.; Cross, T.A. )

    1991-04-10

    The contemporary elevation of a Late Cenomanian ({approx}93 Ma) shoreline was determined at five localities along the tectonically stable, eastern margin of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, North America. This shoreline, represented by marine-to-nonmarine facies transitions in strata of the Greenhorn sequence (UZA-2 cycle of Haq et al. (1987)), was identified from outcrop and borehole data. Biostratigraphic zonations constrained the geologic age at each locality. Sequence stratigraphic correlations, based on identifying discrete progradational units and the surfaces that separate them, were used to refine age correlations to better than 100 kyr between localities. A single Cenomanian shoreline was correlated within a single progradational unit, and its elevation was determined at five localities. This paleostrandline occurs 265-286m above present-day sea level, at an average elevation of 276 m. Isostatic and flexural corrections were applied to remove the effects of postdepositional vertical movement, including sediment compaction by loading, uplift due to erosion, and glacial loading and rebound. Errors inherent in each measurement and each correction were estimated. Corrections and their cumulative error estimates yield a Late Cenomanian elevation of 269{plus minus}87 m above present sea level. The corrected elevation approximates sea level at 93 Ma and provides a measure of Late Cenomanian eustasy prior to the Early Turonian highstand. Establishing the absolute value for eustasy at a single point in geologic time provides a frame of reference for calibrating relative sea level curves, as well as constraining the magnitudes of tectonic subsidence, sediment flux, and other variables that controlled water depth and relative sea level.

  11. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds.

    PubMed

    Wang, Min; Lloyd, Graeme T

    2016-04-13

    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap betweenArchaeopteryxand crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. PMID:27053742

  12. Potential cretaceous play in the Rharb basin of northern Morocco

    SciTech Connect

    Jobidon, G.P. )

    1993-09-01

    The autochthonous Cretaceous in the Rharb basin of northern Morocco is located underneath a cover of neogene sediments and of the Prerif nappe olistostrome, which was emplaced during the Tortonian 7 m.y. The presence of infranappe Cretaceous sediments is documented in a few onshore wells in the Rharb basin and in the adjacent Prerif Rides area, as well as in the Rif Mountains. Their presence in the deeper portion of the Rharb basin is difficult to detail because of poor seismic resolution data beneath dispersive prerif nappe. A recent study of offshore seismic data acquired by PCIAC in 1987 indicates that the infranappe interval can be more than 1500 m thick in some of the offshore Kenitra area. These sediments have seismic signatures that would correspond to Middle Cretaceous transgressions, culminating with a Turonian highstand. Their deposition systems were located on the northern and western flanks of the Meseta and were followed by a hiatus lasting until the Miocene. Regional studies of gravity and magnetic data provide and additional understanding of the Rif province, its evolution, and the possible presence of autochthonous Cretaceous sediments below the prerif nappe cover. The infranappe of Rharb basin has a good potential to develop into a major hydrocarbon play with the presence of middle Cretaceous reservoir rocks, Turonian-Cenomanian black shale source rocks, as well as the timely combination of trap formation, source rock maturation, and hydrocarbon migration.

  13. Mammal disparity decreases during the Cretaceous angiosperm radiation.

    PubMed

    Grossnickle, David M; Polly, P David

    2013-11-22

    Fossil discoveries over the past 30 years have radically transformed traditional views of Mesozoic mammal evolution. In addition, recent research provides a more detailed account of the Cretaceous diversification of flowering plants. Here, we examine patterns of morphological disparity and functional morphology associated with diet in early mammals. Two analyses were performed: (i) an examination of diversity based on functional dental type rather than higher-level taxonomy, and (ii) a morphometric analysis of jaws, which made use of modern analogues, to assess changes in mammalian morphological and dietary disparity. Results demonstrate a decline in diversity of molar types during the mid-Cretaceous as abundances of triconodonts, symmetrodonts, docodonts and eupantotherians diminished. Multituberculates experience a turnover in functional molar types during the mid-Cretaceous and a shift towards plant-dominated diets during the late Late Cretaceous. Although therians undergo a taxonomic expansion coinciding with the angiosperm radiation, they display small body sizes and a low level of morphological disparity, suggesting an evolutionary shift favouring small insectivores. It is concluded that during the mid-Cretaceous, the period of rapid angiosperm radiation, mammals experienced both a decrease in morphological disparity and a functional shift in dietary morphology that were probably related to changing ecosystems. PMID:24089340

  14. Progresses on Cretaceous Chronostratigraphy and status of GSSPs' definition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Premoli Silva, Isabella

    2013-04-01

    A wealth of data on various aspects of Cretaceous stratigraphy had continued to be published up to now providing a continuous amelioration of the multiple stratigraphic framework that today spans most of the Cretaceous frequently in high resolution. If so, why out of the 12 stages of the Cretaceous System only three stages have a ratified GSSP plus a forth one now waiting for ratification by the IUGS Executive Committee? The extensive recovery of continuous pelagic successions by the DSDP-ODP projects in all oceans posed several problems of correlation with the classical sections, stratotypes included, frequently of limited exposures and affected by numerous discontinuities. In addition, the biostratigraphy of these classical sections is based on macrofossils, frequently of limited geographical distribution, that are absent in deep-sea sediments, primarily dated by calcareous plankton. To overcome such a bias, biostratigraphies have been integrated with magneto- and isotope stratigraphies. However, the "Long Magnetic Normal" prevents the calibration of the bioevents in most Upper Cretaceous, and not all the lithologies are suitable for magnetic investigations. The d13C-based major isotope events proved to be a reliable stratigraphic tool in some intervals, allowing to correlate sections from different basins and settings and to detect even minor hiatuses. The interdisciplinary approach, imperative for defining the Cretaceous chronostratigraphy, resulted in slow progresses in term of GSSP definitions. Few case studies will be presented.

  15. Mammal disparity decreases during the Cretaceous angiosperm radiation

    PubMed Central

    Grossnickle, David M.; Polly, P. David

    2013-01-01

    Fossil discoveries over the past 30 years have radically transformed traditional views of Mesozoic mammal evolution. In addition, recent research provides a more detailed account of the Cretaceous diversification of flowering plants. Here, we examine patterns of morphological disparity and functional morphology associated with diet in early mammals. Two analyses were performed: (i) an examination of diversity based on functional dental type rather than higher-level taxonomy, and (ii) a morphometric analysis of jaws, which made use of modern analogues, to assess changes in mammalian morphological and dietary disparity. Results demonstrate a decline in diversity of molar types during the mid-Cretaceous as abundances of triconodonts, symmetrodonts, docodonts and eupantotherians diminished. Multituberculates experience a turnover in functional molar types during the mid-Cretaceous and a shift towards plant-dominated diets during the late Late Cretaceous. Although therians undergo a taxonomic expansion coinciding with the angiosperm radiation, they display small body sizes and a low level of morphological disparity, suggesting an evolutionary shift favouring small insectivores. It is concluded that during the mid-Cretaceous, the period of rapid angiosperm radiation, mammals experienced both a decrease in morphological disparity and a functional shift in dietary morphology that were probably related to changing ecosystems. PMID:24089340

  16. Alternative adaptive immunity strategies: coelacanth, cod and shark immunity.

    PubMed

    Buonocore, Francesco; Gerdol, Marco

    2016-01-01

    The advent of high throughput sequencing has permitted to investigate the genome and the transcriptome of novel non-model species with unprecedented depth. This technological advance provided a better understanding of the evolution of adaptive immune genes in gnathostomes, revealing several unexpected features in different fish species which are of particular interest. In the present paper, we review the current understanding of the adaptive immune system of the coelacanth, the elephant shark and the Atlantic cod. The study of coelacanth, the only living extant of the long thought to be extinct Sarcopterygian lineage, is fundamental to bring new insights on the evolution of the immune system in higher vertebrates. Surprisingly, coelacanths are the only known jawed vertebrates to lack IgM, whereas two IgD/W loci are present. Cartilaginous fish are of great interest due to their basal position in the vertebrate tree of life; the genome of the elephant shark revealed the lack of several important immune genes related to T cell functions, which suggest the existence of a primordial set of TH1-like cells. Finally, the Atlantic cod lacks a functional major histocompatibility II complex, but balances this evolutionary loss with the expansion of specific gene families, including MHC I, Toll-like receptors and antimicrobial peptides. Overall, these data point out that several fish species present an unconventional adaptive immune system, but the loss of important immune genes is balanced by adaptive evolutionary strategies which still guarantee the establishment of an efficient immune response against the pathogens they have to fight during their life. PMID:26423359

  17. Durophagy in sharks: feeding mechanics of the hammerhead Sphyrna tiburo.

    PubMed

    Wilga, C D; Motta, P J

    2000-09-01

    This study investigates the motor pattern and head movements during feeding of a durophagus shark, the bonnethead Sphyrna tiburo, using electromyography and simultaneous high-speed video. Sphyrna tiburo feeds almost exclusively on hard-shelled crabs, with shrimp and fish taken occasionally. It captures crabs by ram feeding, then processes or reduces the prey by crushing it between molariform teeth, finally transporting the prey by suction for swallowing. The prey-crushing mechanism is distinct from that of ram or bite capture and suction transport. This crushing mechanism is accomplished by altering the duration of jaw adductor muscle activity and modifying jaw kinematics by the addition of a second jaw-closing phase. In crushing events, motor activity of the jaw adductor muscles continues (biting of the prey occurs as the jaws close and continues after the jaws have closed) throughout a second jaw-closing phase, unlike capture and transport events during which motor activity (biting) ceases at jaw closure. Sphyrna tiburo is able to take advantage of a resource (hard prey) that is not readily available to most sharks by utilizing a suite of durophagous characteristics: molariform teeth, a modified jaw protrusor muscle, altered jaw adductor activity and modified jaw kinematics. Sphyrna tiburo is a specialist feeder on crab prey as demonstrated by the lack of differences in kinematic or motor patterns when offered prey of differing hardness and its apparent lack of ability to modulate its behavior when feeding on other prey. Functional patterns are altered and coupled with modifications in dental and jaw morphology to produce diverse crushing behaviors in elasmobranchs. PMID:10952878

  18. Using Fossil Shark Teeth to Illustrate Evolution and Introduce Basic Geologic Concepts in a High School Biology Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnew, J. G.; Nunn, J. A.

    2007-12-01

    Shell Foundation sponsors a program at Louisiana State University called Shell Undergraduate Recruitment and Geoscience Education (SURGE). The purpose of SURGE is to help local high school science teachers incorporate geology into their classrooms by providing resources and training. As part of this program, a workshop for high school biology teachers was held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on June 3-5, 2007. We had the teachers do a series of activities on fossil shark teeth to illustrate evolution and introduce basic earth science concepts such as geologic time, superposition, and faunal succession and provided the teachers with lesson plans and materials. As an example, one of our exercises explores the evolution of the megatoothed shark lineage leading to Carcharocles megalodon, the largest predatory shark in history with teeth up to 17 cm long. Megatoothed shark teeth make excellent evolutionary subjects because they have a good fossil record and show continuous transitions in morphology from the Eocene to Pliocene. Our activity follows the learning cycle model. We take advantage of the curiosity of sharks shared by most people, and allow students to explore the variations among different shark teeth and explain the causes of those variations. The objectives of this exercise are to have the students: 1) sort fossil shark teeth into biologically reasonable species; 2) form hypotheses about evolutionary relationships among fossil shark teeth; and 3) describe and interpret evolutionary trends in the fossil Megatoothed lineage. To do the activity, students are divided into groups of 2-3 and given a shuffled set of 72 shark tooth cards with different images of megatoothed shark teeth. They are instructed to group the shark tooth cards into separate species of sharks. After sorting the cards, students are asked to consider the evolutionary relationships among their species and arrange their species chronologically according to the species first

  19. Comparative Use of a Caribbean Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem and Association with Fish Spawning Aggregations by Three Species of Shark.

    PubMed

    Pickard, Alexandria E; Vaudo, Jeremy J; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Nemeth, Richard S; Blondeau, Jeremiah B; Kadison, Elizabeth A; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2016-01-01

    Understanding of species interactions within mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; ~ 30-150 m) lags well behind that for shallow coral reefs. MCEs are often sites of fish spawning aggregations (FSAs) for a variety of species, including many groupers. Such reproductive fish aggregations represent temporal concentrations of potential prey that may be drivers of habitat use by predatory species, including sharks. We investigated movements of three species of sharks within a MCE and in relation to FSAs located on the shelf edge south of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. Movements of 17 tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), seven lemon (Negaprion brevirostris), and six Caribbean reef (Carcharhinus perezi) sharks tagged with acoustic transmitters were monitored within the MCE using an array of acoustic receivers spanning an area of 1,060 km2 over a five year period. Receivers were concentrated around prominent grouper FSAs to monitor movements of sharks in relation to these temporally transient aggregations. Over 130,000 detections of telemetered sharks were recorded, with four sharks tracked in excess of 3 years. All three shark species were present within the MCE over long periods of time and detected frequently at FSAs, but patterns of MCE use and orientation towards FSAs varied both spatially and temporally among species. Lemon sharks moved over a large expanse of the MCE, but concentrated their activities around FSAs during grouper spawning and were present within the MCE significantly more during grouper spawning season. Caribbean reef sharks were present within a restricted portion of the MCE for prolonged periods of time, but were also absent for long periods. Tiger sharks were detected throughout the extent of the acoustic array, with the MCE representing only portion of their habitat use, although a high degree of individual variation was observed. Our findings indicate that although patterns of use varied, all three species of sharks repeatedly utilized the MCE and

  20. Large-Scale Absence of Sharks on Reefs in the Greater-Caribbean: A Footprint of Human Pressures

    PubMed Central

    Ward-Paige, Christine A.; Mora, Camilo; Lotze, Heike K.; Pattengill-Semmens, Christy; McClenachan, Loren; Arias-Castro, Ery

    2010-01-01

    Background In recent decades, large pelagic and coastal shark populations have declined dramatically with increased fishing; however, the status of sharks in other systems such as coral reefs remains largely unassessed despite a long history of exploitation. Here we explore the contemporary distribution and sighting frequency of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean and assess the possible role of human pressures on observed patterns. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed 76,340 underwater surveys carried out by trained volunteer divers between 1993 and 2008. Surveys were grouped within one km2 cells, which allowed us to determine the contemporary geographical distribution and sighting frequency of sharks. Sighting frequency was calculated as the ratio of surveys with sharks to the total number of surveys in each cell. We compared sighting frequency to the number of people in the cell vicinity and used population viability analyses to assess the effects of exploitation on population trends. Sharks, with the exception of nurse sharks occurred mainly in areas with very low human population or strong fishing regulations and marine conservation. Population viability analysis suggests that exploitation alone could explain the large-scale absence; however, this pattern is likely to be exacerbated by additional anthropogenic stressors, such as pollution and habitat degradation, that also correlate with human population. Conclusions/Significance Human pressures in coastal zones have lead to the broad-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean. Preventing further loss of sharks requires urgent management measures to curb fishing mortality and to mitigate other anthropogenic stressors to protect sites where sharks still exist. The fact that sharks still occur in some densely populated areas where strong fishing regulations are in place indicates the possibility of success and encourages the implementation of conservation measures. PMID:20700530

  1. Comparative Use of a Caribbean Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem and Association with Fish Spawning Aggregations by Three Species of Shark

    PubMed Central

    Pickard, Alexandria E.; Vaudo, Jeremy J.; Wetherbee, Bradley M.; Nemeth, Richard S.; Blondeau, Jeremiah B.; Kadison, Elizabeth A.; Shivji, Mahmood S.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding of species interactions within mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; ~ 30–150 m) lags well behind that for shallow coral reefs. MCEs are often sites of fish spawning aggregations (FSAs) for a variety of species, including many groupers. Such reproductive fish aggregations represent temporal concentrations of potential prey that may be drivers of habitat use by predatory species, including sharks. We investigated movements of three species of sharks within a MCE and in relation to FSAs located on the shelf edge south of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. Movements of 17 tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), seven lemon (Negaprion brevirostris), and six Caribbean reef (Carcharhinus perezi) sharks tagged with acoustic transmitters were monitored within the MCE using an array of acoustic receivers spanning an area of 1,060 km2 over a five year period. Receivers were concentrated around prominent grouper FSAs to monitor movements of sharks in relation to these temporally transient aggregations. Over 130,000 detections of telemetered sharks were recorded, with four sharks tracked in excess of 3 years. All three shark species were present within the MCE over long periods of time and detected frequently at FSAs, but patterns of MCE use and orientation towards FSAs varied both spatially and temporally among species. Lemon sharks moved over a large expanse of the MCE, but concentrated their activities around FSAs during grouper spawning and were present within the MCE significantly more during grouper spawning season. Caribbean reef sharks were present within a restricted portion of the MCE for prolonged periods of time, but were also absent for long periods. Tiger sharks were detected throughout the extent of the acoustic array, with the MCE representing only portion of their habitat use, although a high degree of individual variation was observed. Our findings indicate that although patterns of use varied, all three species of sharks repeatedly utilized the MCE

  2. The Influence of Environmental Variables on the Presence of White Sharks, Carcharodon carcharias at Two Popular Cape Town Bathing Beaches: A Generalized Additive Mixed Model

    PubMed Central

    Weltz, Kay; Kock, Alison A.; Winker, Henning; Attwood, Colin; Sikweyiya, Monwabisi

    2013-01-01

    Shark attacks on humans are high profile events which can significantly influence policies related to the coastal zone. A shark warning system in South Africa, Shark Spotters, recorded 378 white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) sightings at two popular beaches, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg, during 3690 six-hour long spotting shifts, during the months September to May 2006 to 2011. The probabilities of shark sightings were related to environmental variables using Binomial Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs). Sea surface temperature was significant, with the probability of shark sightings increasing rapidly as SST exceeded 14°C and approached a maximum at 18°C, whereafter it remains high. An 8 times (Muizenberg) and 5 times (Fish Hoek) greater likelihood of sighting a shark was predicted at 18°C than at 14°C. Lunar phase was also significant with a prediction of 1.5 times (Muizenberg) and 4 times (Fish Hoek) greater likelihood of a shark sighting at new moon than at full moon. At Fish Hoek, the probability of sighting a shark was 1.6 times higher during the afternoon shift compared to the morning shift, but no diel effect was found at Muizenberg. A significant increase in the number of shark sightings was identified over the last three years, highlighting the need for ongoing research into shark attack mitigation. These patterns will be incorporated into shark awareness and bather safety campaigns in Cape Town. PMID:23874668

  3. The influence of environmental variables on the presence of white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias at two popular Cape Town bathing beaches: a generalized additive mixed model.

    PubMed

    Weltz, Kay; Kock, Alison A; Winker, Henning; Attwood, Colin; Sikweyiya, Monwabisi

    2013-01-01

    Shark attacks on humans are high profile events which can significantly influence policies related to the coastal zone. A shark warning system in South Africa, Shark Spotters, recorded 378 white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) sightings at two popular beaches, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg, during 3690 six-hour long spotting shifts, during the months September to May 2006 to 2011. The probabilities of shark sightings were related to environmental variables using Binomial Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs). Sea surface temperature was significant, with the probability of shark sightings increasing rapidly as SST exceeded 14 °C and approached a maximum at 18 °C, whereafter it remains high. An 8 times (Muizenberg) and 5 times (Fish Hoek) greater likelihood of sighting a shark was predicted at 18 °C than at 14 °C. Lunar phase was also significant with a prediction of 1.5 times (Muizenberg) and 4 times (Fish Hoek) greater likelihood of a shark sighting at new moon than at full moon. At Fish Hoek, the probability of sighting a shark was 1.6 times higher during the afternoon shift compared to the morning shift, but no diel effect was found at Muizenberg. A significant increase in the number of shark sightings was identified over the last three years, highlighting the need for ongoing research into shark attack mitigation. These patterns will be incorporated into shark awareness and bather safety campaigns in Cape Town. PMID:23874668

  4. Ages and geochemistry of Cretaceous mafic dikes in Southeastern China: implications for paleo-Pacific subduction evolution during Cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jian-wei; Lee, Chi-Yu; Chen, Cheng-Hong

    2016-04-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of two Cretaceous mafic dike populations in SE China provides an opportunity to study the mantle evolution related to the paleo-Pacific subduction. They include early Cretaceous (143-131 Ma) mafic dikes in the interior SE China (Jiangxi and north Guangdong), and late Cretaceous (98-79 Ma) mafic dikes in the coastal area of Fujian and Hong Kong. All these rocks exhibit some arc-like geochemical signatures, such as large ion lithophile element (LILE; Rb, Ba) enrichment and high field strength element (HFSE; Nb, Ta, Ti) depletion. However, the former have higher concentrations in TiO2, Nb, Ta and lower La/Nb ratio. Sr and Nd isotope data indicate that they may involve two end-members, one with lithosphere-modified OIB-like asthenosphere composition and the other with subduction-modified lithosphere composition. These results suggest that asthenospheric mantle probably play a role for the formation of early Cretaceous mafic dikes. Conversely, the latter exhibits typical mantle compositions of an arc system. Abundances of Jurassic basalts in the interior SE China with typical asthenosphere signatures suggest that they might be the products in response to the delamination of partially over-thickened lithosphere under a rifting environment. Appearance of early Cretaceous mafic dikes, tinged with OIB-like in addition to the arc-like signatures in the interior SE China, may be an indication that paleo-Pacific subduction started or resumed at the beginning of the early Cretaceous. On the other hand, the coastal SE China was characterized by the formation of a NE-trending A-type granite and rhyolite belt near the end of the late Cretaceous, a sign for the epilog of the paleo-Pacific movement. Therefore, widespread of the late Cretaceous mafic dikes would be a reflection of a well-modified mantle by the paleo-Pacific before the cessation of the subduction system in the coastal SE China. (Keywords: Cretaceous, Mafic dike, SE China)

  5. A first record of Cretaceous aphids (Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Aphidomorpha) in Australia, from the Lower Cretaceous Koonwarra Fossil Bed, Victoria.

    PubMed

    Martin, Sarah K; Skidmore, Luke I; Stilwell, Jeffrey D

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the first species of aphid from the Lower Cretaceous Koonwarra Fossil Bed of the Gippsland Basin, southeastern Victoria, Australia. This aphid, herein named Koonwarraphis rotundafrons gen. & sp. nov., is assigned to the cosmopolitan Cretaceous superfamily Tajmyraphidoidea, which has been previously described from the Lebanese, Taimyrian, Canadian, Myanmar (Burmese), and Spanish ambers. Koonwarraphis rotundafrons is the first aphid recorded from the eastern Gondwanan landmass during the Cretaceous, and represents the only tajmyraphidoid preserved as a compression fossil, rather than as an amber inclusion. Due to the nature of the fossil's preservation, Koonwarraphis cannot be firmly placed in any of the described tajmyraphidoid families; however, all observable morphological features suggest that the genus is broadly typical of the superfamily and Cretaceous aphids in general. Koonwarraphis' shortened rostrum, a feature also seen in other tajmyraphidoids, suggests an association with the more herbaceous aspects of the Early Cretaceous Victorian flora. Considering the modern aphid preference for angiosperm plants, it is possible that this aphid was living upon the herbaceous early angiosperms recorded previously from the Koonwarra macrofloral assemblage. PMID:27395744

  6. Opportunistic visitors: long-term behavioural response of bull sharks to food provisioning in Fiji.

    PubMed

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M; Barnett, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Shark-based tourism that uses bait to reliably attract certain species to specific sites so that divers can view them is a growing industry globally, but remains a controversial issue. We evaluate multi-year (2004-2011) underwater visual (n = 48 individuals) and acoustic tracking data (n = 82 transmitters; array of up to 16 receivers) of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas from a long-term shark feeding site at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve and reefs along the Beqa Channel on the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji. Individual C. leucas showed varying degrees of site fidelity. Determined from acoustic tagging, the majority of C. leucas had site fidelity indexes >0.5 for the marine reserve (including the feeding site) and neighbouring reefs. However, during the time of the day (09:00-12:00) when feeding takes place, sharks mainly had site fidelity indexes <0.5 for the feeding site, regardless of feeding or non-feeding days. Site fidelity indexes determined by direct diver observation of sharks at the feeding site were lower compared to such values determined by acoustic tagging. The overall pattern for C. leucas is that, if present in the area, they are attracted to the feeding site regardless of whether feeding or non-feeding days, but they remain for longer periods of time (consecutive hours) on feeding days. The overall diel patterns in movement are for C. leucas to use the area around the feeding site in the morning before spreading out over Shark Reef throughout the day and dispersing over the entire array at night. Both focal observation and acoustic monitoring show that C. leucas intermittently leave the area for a few consecutive days throughout the year, and for longer time periods (weeks to months) at the end of the calendar year before returning to the feeding site. PMID:23516496

  7. Reassessing the trophic role of reef sharks as apex predators on coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Ashley J.; Ireland, Matthew; Rizzari, Justin R.; Lönnstedt, Oona M.; Magnenat, Katalin A.; Mirbach, Christopher E.; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A.

    2016-06-01

    Apex predators often have strong top-down effects on ecosystem components and are therefore a priority for conservation and management. Due to their large size and conspicuous predatory behaviour, reef sharks are typically assumed to be apex predators, but their functional role is yet to be confirmed. In this study, we used stomach contents and stable isotopes to estimate diet, trophic position and carbon sources for three common species of reef shark ( Triaenodon obesus, Carcharhinus melanopterus and C. amblyrhynchos) from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and evaluated their assumed functional role as apex predators by qualitative and quantitative comparisons with other sharks and large predatory fishes. We found that reef sharks do not occupy the apex of coral reef food chains, but instead have functional roles similar to those of large predatory fishes such as snappers, emperors and groupers, which are typically regarded as high-level mesopredators. We hypothesise that a degree of functional redundancy exists within this guild of predators, potentially explaining why shark-induced trophic cascades are rare or subtle in coral reef ecosystems. We also found that reef sharks participate in multiple food webs (pelagic and benthic) and are sustained by multiple sources of primary production. We conclude that large conspicuous predators, be they elasmobranchs or any other taxon, should not axiomatically be regarded as apex predators without thorough analysis of their diet. In the case of reef sharks, our dietary analyses suggest they should be reassigned to an alternative trophic group such as high-level mesopredators. This change will facilitate improved understanding of how reef communities function and how removal of predators (e.g., via fishing) might affect ecosystem properties.

  8. [Attenuated total reflection-fourier transform infrared spectroscopic study of dried shark fin products].

    PubMed

    Han, Wan-qing; Luo, Hai-ying; Xian, Yan-ping; Luo, Dong-hui; Mu, Torng-na; Guo, Xin-dong

    2015-02-01

    Sixty-four pieces of shark fin dried products (including real, fake and artificial shark fin products) and real products coated with gelatin were rapidly and nondestructively analyzed by attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). The characteristic of IR spectrograms among the above four kinds of samples were systematically studied and comparied, the results showed that the spectrograms of the same kind of samples were repeatable, and different kinds of shark fin products presented significant differences in the spectrograms, which mainly manifested as the specific absorption peaks of amido bonds in protein (1650, 1544 cm(-1)) and skeletal vibration in polysaccharide (1050 cm(-1)). The spectrograms of real shark fins were characterized by the strong absorption peaks of protein characteristic amide I and II absorbent (1650, 1544 cm(-1)) and relatively weak C--O--C vibration absorbent (1050 cm(-1)) owing to the high content of protein and relatively low level of polysaccharide. For fake shark fin products that were molded form by mixing together with the offcut of shark, collagen and other substances, the introduction of non-protein materials leaded to the weaker amido bonds absorbent than real products along with a 30 cm(-1) blue shift of amide I absorbent. Opposite to the real sample, the relatively strong absorption peak of polysaccharide (approximately 1047 cm(-1)) and barely existed amide absorbent were the key features of the spectrogram of artificial samples, which was synthersized by polysaccharide like sodium alginate. Real samples coated with gelatin, the peak strength of protein and polysaccharide were decreased simultaneously when the data collection was taken at the surface of sample, while the spectrogram presented no significant difference to real samples when the data was collected in the section. The results above indicated that by analyzing the characteristic of IR spectrograms and the value range of Apro

  9. Opportunistic Visitors: Long-Term Behavioural Response of Bull Sharks to Food Provisioning in Fiji

    PubMed Central

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M.; Barnett, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Shark-based tourism that uses bait to reliably attract certain species to specific sites so that divers can view them is a growing industry globally, but remains a controversial issue. We evaluate multi-year (2004–2011) underwater visual (n = 48 individuals) and acoustic tracking data (n = 82 transmitters; array of up to 16 receivers) of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas from a long-term shark feeding site at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve and reefs along the Beqa Channel on the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji. Individual C. leucas showed varying degrees of site fidelity. Determined from acoustic tagging, the majority of C. leucas had site fidelity indexes >0.5 for the marine reserve (including the feeding site) and neighbouring reefs. However, during the time of the day (09:00–12:00) when feeding takes place, sharks mainly had site fidelity indexes <0.5 for the feeding site, regardless of feeding or non-feeding days. Site fidelity indexes determined by direct diver observation of sharks at the feeding site were lower compared to such values determined by acoustic tagging. The overall pattern for C. leucas is that, if present in the area, they are attracted to the feeding site regardless of whether feeding or non-feeding days, but they remain for longer periods of time (consecutive hours) on feeding days. The overall diel patterns in movement are for C. leucas to use the area around the feeding site in the morning before spreading out over Shark Reef throughout the day and dispersing over the entire array at night. Both focal observation and acoustic monitoring show that C. leucas intermittently leave the area for a few consecutive days throughout the year, and for longer time periods (weeks to months) at the end of the calendar year before returning to the feeding site. PMID:23516496

  10. Annual social behaviour of basking sharks associated with coastal front areas.

    PubMed Central

    Sims, D W; Southall, E J; Quayle, V A; Fox, A M

    2000-01-01

    Comparatively little is known about reproductive behaviour in wild sharks as it has proved extremely difficult to study, especially in large pelagic sharks. Here we describe annual courtship-like behaviour in the second-largest fish species, the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), from 25 separate episodes observed and tracked during a five-year study period (1995-1999) off south-west England. Social behaviours observed between paired, or three or four, sharks were consistent with courtship behaviours seen in other shark species, namely nose-to-tail following, close following, close flank approach, parallel and echelon swimming. Mature individuals between 5 and 8 m total body length (L(T)) exhibited these behaviours whereas smaller sharks (3-4 m L(T)) did not. Lead individuals were identified as female on a number of occasions and interactions were prolonged; the longest continuous observation of socializing was 1.8 h, although intermittent track data indicates bouts may last for up to 5-6 h. Locations of courtship-like behaviour events were not distributed randomly and were significantly associated with thermal fronts. Our results indicate that putative courtship behaviour occurs between May and July along oceanographic fronts, probably as a consequence of individuals aggregating to forage in rich prey patches before initiating courtship. Thus, locating the richest prey patches along fronts may be important for basking sharks to find mates as well as food in the pelagic ecosystem. As courtship-like behaviours occur annually off south-west England we speculate that this region may represent an annual breeding area for this protected species, but mating itself probably takes place at depth as it was not seen at the surface. PMID:11052542

  11. Molecular fossils in Cretaceous condensate from western India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Dutta, Suryendu; Dutta, Ratul

    2014-06-01

    The present study reports the biomarker distribution of condensate belonging to the early Cretaceous time frame using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The early Cretaceous palaeoenvironment was inscribed into these molecular fossils which reflected the source and conditions of deposition of the condensate. The saturate fraction of the condensate is characterized by normal alkanes ranging from n-C9 to n-C29 (CPI-1.13), cycloalkanes and C14 and C15 sesquiterpanes. The aromatic fraction comprises of naphthalene, phenanthrene, their methylated derivatives and cyclohexylbenzenes. Isohexylalkylnaphthalenes, a product of rearrangement process of terpenoids, is detected in the condensate. Several aromatic sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids have been recorded. Dihydro- ar-curcumene, cadalene and ionene form the assemblage of sesquiterpenoids which are indicative of higher plant input. Aromatic diterpenoid fraction comprises of simonellite and retene. These compounds are also indicative of higher plants, particularly conifer source which had been a predominant flora during the Cretaceous time.

  12. The earliest known tyrannosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buffetaut, Eric; Suteethorn, Varavudh; Tong, Haiyan

    1996-06-01

    THE Tyrannosauridae were the dominant large carnivorous dinosaurs in Asia (excluding India) and western North America during the Late Cretaceous period1-3. Most of them are from the Campanian and Maastrichtian ages, and very little is known about their earlier history, although scanty remains have been reported from the early part of the Upper Cretaceous4-7. We describe a newly discovered incomplete skeleton of a large theropod from the Early Cretaceous Sao Khua Formation of northeastern Thailand as an early and primitive representative of the Tyrannosauridae. This new taxon, which is at least 20 million years older than the earliest previously known tyranno-saurids, suggests that the early evolution of tyrannosaurids may have taken place in Asia.

  13. More stable yet bimodal geodynamo during the Cretaceous superchron?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lhuillier, Florian; Gilder, Stuart A.; Wack, Michael; He, Kuang; Petersen, Nikolai; Singer, Brad S.; Jicha, Brian R.; Schaen, Allen J.; Colon, Dylan

    2016-06-01

    We report palaeomagnetic and 40Ar/39Ar dating results from two sequences of basaltic lava flows deposited at the same locality in western China, yet separated in time by ~50 Myr: one set lies within the Cretaceous normal superchron at 112-115 Ma and a second at 59-70 Ma spanning the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary. We find that magnetic field directions during the superchron exhibit bimodal populations: one with inclinations representative of a dipolar field and another with shallow inclinations that could reflect a more complex, multipolar field. However, the time-dependent variability in field directions was 50% lower during the superchron than after, which implies greater field stability during the superchron. Our results suggest that episodes of less dipolar field behavior occurred within the Cretaceous superchron and raise the question whether a second, more multipolar, field state is more persistent than previously thought.

  14. Some American Cretaceous fish scales, with notes on the classification and distribution of Cretaceous fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cockerell, T.D.A.

    1919-01-01

    Fish remains are extremely abundant in several Cretaceous formations of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, but except in the Niobrara formation of Kansas, a fish skeleton well enough preserved for description or identification is the greatest rarity. The fishes are represented by separate scales, in some places associated with a few vertebrae and other fragmentary bones or by isolated teeth. In the original descriptions of both the Mowry and the Aspen shales of Wyoming the presence of fish scales is mentioned as a characteristic feature. Fossils of other classes are usually very rare in beds containing many fish scales. Many of the scales are beautifully preserved and show varied forms and more or less complex structure.

  15. The Cretaceous stratigraphy of the Western Cordillera Oriental, Columbia

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, R.B.; Alfonso, C.A.; Ressetar, R.; Salazar, A. ); Ballesteros, I.; Cardozo, E.; Laverde, F.; Ramirez, C. ); Moreno, J.M. ); Rubiano, J.; Sarmiento, L. )

    1993-02-01

    During 1987 and 1988, a major field project sponsored by Tenneco was undertaken along the west flank of the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia between Alpujarra (between the Neiva and Girardot Sub-Basins) and the Middle Magdalena Basin (Cimitarra area). An important result of this study was the documentation of pronounced regional variation in the age, thickness, and facies of the Cretaceous section. The maximum thickness estimated was 7 km for the Bogota-Villeta section, with ages as old as Berriasian. This section can be divided into 4 or 5 depositional sequences. A clastic source to the west or southwest is indicated for the lower sequence 1 (and 2 ), an eastern source dominated sequences 3 and 4, and eastern and western sources supplied the upper sequence. Toward the north the section thins to an estimated 3-5 km but still ranges in age throughout the Cretaceous. Southward, on the other hand, the Cretaceous thins to about 2 km and is restricted to Aptian-Albian and younger ages. The variations in ages, facies, and thickness are consistent with recent models of the evolution of the Cretaceous basin. During the Neocomian, the Bogata area formed the main depocenter of the basin and was characterized by restricted facies and turbidites, suggesting steep, possibly faulted basin margins. Facies to the north, near the Middle Magdalena Basin, indicate shallower water, possibly a platform. By the end of the Early Cretaceous, expansion of the marine basin out of the central Cordillera Oriental and regionally more constant facies indicate the onset of dominantly thermal subsidence. The end of the Cretaceous was marked by regression and asymmetric clastic input from east and west of the basin.

  16. Ocular shell structures in some Cretaceous trachyleberid Ostracoda

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kontrovitz, M.; Puckett, T.M.

    1998-01-01

    This is the first study of internal ocular shell structures of Cretaceous ostracodes. Internal molds from eight species of four genera from Santonian, Campanian, and Maastrichtian strata revealed a stalked ocular sinus constricted along its length and distally inflated. The latter part has anterior and posterior lobes and a subcentral concavity. These Cretaceous trachyleberids have ocular shell structures similar to Cenozoic taxa and it is presumed they functioned similarly. However, each taxon has a diagnostic ocular sinus and an inner surface of the eye tubercle that distinguishes each from all other forms examined.

  17. Arctic Late Cretaceous and Paleocene Plant Community Succession

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Alexei; Spicer, Robert; Daly, Robert; Jolley, David; Ahlberg, Anders; Moiseeva, Maria

    2010-05-01

    The Arctic abounds with Late Cretaceous and Paleocene plant fossils attesting to a thriving, diverse, but now extinct polar ecosystem that sequestered vast amounts of carbon. Through detailed examination of plant remains and their distributions in time and space with respect to their entombing sedimentary facies, it has been possible to reconstruct changes in Arctic vegetation composition and dynamics through the Late Cretaceous and into the Paleocene. Based on over 10,000 leaf remains, fossil wood and palynomorph assemblages from northeastern Russia and northern Alaska and palynological data from elsewhere in the Arctic we identify a number of successional plant communities (SPCs) representing seral development from early (pioneer), through middle to late SPCs and climax vegetation. We recognise that (1) Equisetites and some ferns (typically Birisia, but after the beginning of the Maastrichtian, Onoclea) were obligatory components of the early SPCs; (2) first rare angiosperms (e.g. the dicot Vitiphyllum multifidum) appeared in the middle SPCs of the Arctic in the Early - Middle Albian; (3) from late Albian times onwards angiosperms became abundant in the middle SPCs of the Arctic, but were still rare in the earlier and later SPCs; (4) monocots appeared in the Maastrichtian early SPCs; (5) all Arctic Cretaceous late SPCs (and climax vegetation) were dominated by conifers; (6) Arctic SPCs were more numerous and diverse under warm climates than cold; (7) during the Albian and late Cretaceous, advanced (Cenophytic, angiosperm-dominated) plant communities coexisted with those of a more relictual (Mesophytic, dominated by ferns and gymnosperms) aspect, and plants composing these communities did not mix; (8) coal-forming environments (mires) remained conifer, fern and bryophyte dominated throughout the late Cretaceous and Paleocene with little penetration of woody angiosperm components and thus are conservative and predominantly Mesophytic in character; (9) bryophytes

  18. Middle cretaceous carbonate reservoirs, Fahud Field and northwestern Oman: discussion

    SciTech Connect

    Brennan, P.

    1985-05-01

    A discussion is presented of the Cretaceous formations involved in Fahud field. Along the Trucial Coast, as in northwestern Oman, it is not difficult to date the time of formation of the foredeep. This article provides a stratigraphic correlation chart for the Cretaceous along the Arabian side of the Arabian Gulf. The terminology presented on this correlation chart reflects oil-industry usage in the area, including correlations published by Owen and Nasr, Loutfi and Jaber, Arabian American Oil Company, Beydoun and Dunnington, and Hassan et al.

  19. Marine carbon cycling following end Cretaceous extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridgwell, Andy; Thomas, Ellen; Alegret, Laia; Schmidt, Daniela

    2010-05-01

    Knowing how the transport of particulate organic carbon and associated nutrients into the ocean interior is controlled, is a prerequisite to reliable predictions of future changes in marine carbon cycling as the circulation and carbonate chemistry of the oceans are perturbed. Multiple mechanisms for particulate organic carbon transport have been proposed, most commonly based on sediment trap observations. Yet these observations primarily provide evidence for correlations between fluxes rather than being able to pin-point any particular mechanism. Despite this, global models tend to adopt one or other mechanism (e.g., ballasting) without independent justification. The geological record may help, as the evolution of pelagic ecosystems through the Phanerozoic has seen the emergence of animals (faecal pellets) and silicification and calcification of planktic organisms (ballasting), with evolutionary innovation fundamentally altering the nature of the oceanic biological pump. Moreover, catastrophic and transitory events, in which pelagic ecosystems were temporary disrupted, altering and biological pumping mechanisms, produced a tell-tale marine geochemical signature than may help elucidate the working of the biological pump. Here we focus on the bolide impact at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary as it induced an enigmatic ‘collapse' in surface-to-deep carbon isotope (d13C) gradients, previously interpreted as representing a complete cessation of biological productivity and/or carbon pumping. Contemporaneous with this was a pronounced extinction of planktic calcifiers, resulting in an order of magnitude reduction in carbonate burial in deep-sea sediments. On face value, no (or little) carbonate ballasting and only a minor possible importance for dust together with ceased organic carbon transport to depth, is consistent with the existence of a dominant (carbonate) mineral ballasting mechanism prior to the event. However, a collapsed surface-to-deep d13C gradient does

  20. Geochemistry of Late Cretaceous phosphorites in Egypt: Implication for their genesis and diagenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baioumy, H. M.; Tada, R.; Gharaie, M. H. M.

    2007-09-01

    Phosphorite deposits in Egypt, known as the Duwi Formation, are a part of the Middle East to North Africa phosphogenic province of Late Cretaceous to Paleogene age. Phosphatic grains in these deposites are classified into phosphatic mudclasts and phosphatic bioclasts. Phosphatic bioclasts are subdivided into fish bone fragments and shark tooth fragments. All phosphatic grains are composed of francolite. Chemical mapping of the phosphatic grains using Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) indicated that the phosphatic mudclasts are homogeneous in their chemical composition and no concentric texture nor chemical zoning are observed. Some of the bone fragments show Fe and S zoning. No significant difference in chemical composition is observed between the phosphatic mudclasts and bioclasts. Acid-insoluble residues of the phosphorites show lower values of the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) compared to the associated rocks. Structural CO 2 contents in the francolites range from 3.32% to 7.21% with an average of 5.3%. The δ13C PDB values range from -4.04‰ to -8.7‰, while the δ18O PDB values range from -4.3‰ to -10.3‰. The compositional homogeneity of the mudclasts, Fe and S zoning in some of the bone fragments and the difference in the Chemical Index of Alteration between the acid-insoluble residues of the phosphorites and the associated rocks suggest that the phosphatic grains in the Duwi Formation are derived from pre-existing authigenic phosphorites, which reworked and concentrated afterward. Negative δ13C values of structural CO 2 suggest that the CO 2 was derived from degradation of organic matter. Low δ18O values of structural CO 2 can be attributed to the influence of meteoric water. Higher CO 2, SO 3 and F contents compared to the recent authigenic phosphorites and negative δ13C and δ18O values of structural CO 2 indicate that diagenesis plays an important role in the modification of the chemical composition of phosphatic grains and that the

  1. 50 CFR 300.204 - Identification and certification of nations whose vessels are engaged in shark catch.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... nations whose vessels are engaged in shark catch. 300.204 Section 300.204 Wildlife and Fisheries... shark catch. (a) Procedures to identify nations if fishing vessels of that nation are engaged in fishing activities or practices in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch...

  2. Observations on Abundance of Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks, Hexanchus griseus, in an Urban Waterway in Puget Sound, 2003-2005

    PubMed Central

    Griffing, Denise; Larson, Shawn; Hollander, Joel; Carpenter, Tim; Christiansen, Jeff; Doss, Charles

    2014-01-01

    The bluntnose sixgill shark, Hexanchus griseus, is a widely distributed but poorly understood large, apex predator. Anecdotal reports of diver-shark encounters in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s in the Pacific Northwest stimulated interest in the normally deep-dwelling shark and its presence in the shallow waters of Puget Sound. Analysis of underwater video documenting sharks at the Seattle Aquarium’s sixgill research site in Elliott Bay and mark-resight techniques were used to answer research questions about abundance and seasonality. Seasonal changes in relative abundance in Puget Sound from 2003–2005 are reported here. At the Seattle Aquarium study site, 45 sixgills were tagged with modified Floy visual marker tags, along with an estimated 197 observations of untagged sharks plus 31 returning tagged sharks, for a total of 273 sixgill observations recorded. A mark-resight statistical model based on analysis of underwater video estimated a range of abundance from a high of 98 sharks seen in July of 2004 to a low of 32 sharks seen in March of 2004. Both analyses found sixgills significantly more abundant in the summer months at the Seattle Aquarium’s research station. PMID:24475229

  3. 76 FR 59924 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sharks in the Bering Sea and Aleutian...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-28

    ... GOA (76 FR 11139, March 1, 2011) and apportionment of non-specified reserves (76 FR 53840, August 30... Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sharks in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY: National...: Temporary rule; closure. SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting retention of sharks in the Bering Sea and...

  4. 76 FR 3044 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sculpins, Sharks, Squid, and Octopus in the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-19

    ... harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (75 FR 11749, March 12, 2010). In accordance with Sec... Economic Zone Off Alaska; Sculpins, Sharks, Squid, and Octopus in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY: National...: Temporary rule; closure. SUMMARY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for sculpins, sharks, squid,...

  5. Laminar and turbulent boundary layer separation control of Mako shark skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afroz, Farhana

    The Shortfin Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is one of the fastest swimmers in nature. They have an incredible turning agility and are estimated to achieve speeds as high as ten body lengths per second. Shark skin is known to contain flexible denticles or scales, capable of being actuated by the flow whereby a unique boundary layer control (BLC) method could reduce drag. It is hypothesized that shark scales bristle when the flow is reversed, and this bristling may serve to control flow separation by (1) inhibiting the localized flow reversal near the wall and (2) inducing mixing within the boundary layer by cavities formed between the scales that increases the momentum of the flow near the wall. To test this hypothesis, samples of Mako shark skin have been studied under various amounts of adverse pressure gradient (APG). These samples were collected from the flank region of a Shortfin Mako shark where the scales have the greatest potential for separation control due to the highest bristling angles. An easy technique for inducing boundary layer separation has been developed where an APG can be generated and varied using a rotating cylinder. Both the experimental and numerical studies showed that the amount of APG can be varied as a function of cylinder rotation speed or cylinder gap height for a wide range of Reynolds numbers. This method of generating an APG is used effectively for inducing both laminar and turbulent boundary layer separation over a flat plate. Laminar and turbulent boundary layer separation studies conducted over a smooth plate have been compared with the same setup repeated over shark skin. The time-averaged DPIV results showed that shark scale bristling controlled both laminar and turbulent boundary layer separation to a measurable extent. It shows that the shark scales cause an early transition to turbulence and reduce the degree of laminar separation. For turbulent separation, reverse flow near the wall and inside the boundary layer is

  6. Characterization of the heart transcriptome of the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is a globally distributed, apex predator possessing physical, physiological, and behavioral traits that have garnered it significant public attention. In addition to interest in the genetic basis of its form and function, as a representative of the oldest extant jawed vertebrate lineage, white sharks are also of conservation concern due to their small population size and threat from overfishing. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about the biology of white sharks, and genomic resources are unavailable. To address this deficit, we combined Roche-454 and Illumina sequencing technologies to characterize the first transciptome of any tissue for this species. Results From white shark heart cDNA we generated 665,399 Roche 454 reads (median length 387-bp) that were assembled into 141,626 contigs (mean length 503-bp). We also generated 78,566,588 Illumina reads, which we aligned to the 454 contigs producing 105,014 454/Illumina consensus sequences. To these, we added 3,432 non-singleton 454 contigs. By comparing these sequences to the UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot database we were able to annotate 21,019 translated open reading frames (ORFs) of ≥ 20 amino acids. Of these, 19,277 were additionally assigned Gene Ontology (GO) functional annotations. While acknowledging the limitations of our single tissue transcriptome, Fisher tests showed the white shark transcriptome to be significantly enriched for numerous metabolic GO terms compared to the zebra fish and human transcriptomes, with white shark showing more similarity to human than to zebra fish (i.e. fewer terms were significantly different). We also compared the transcriptome to other available elasmobranch sequences, for signatures of positive selection and identified several genes of putative adaptive significance on the white shark lineage. The white shark transcriptome also contained 8,404 microsatellites (dinucleotide, trinucleotide, or tetranucleotide motifs

  7. The Last Frontier: Catch Records of White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in the Northwest Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Christiansen, Heather M.; Lin, Victor; Tanaka, Sho; Velikanov, Anatoly; Mollet, Henry F.; Wintner, Sabine P.; Fordham, Sonja V.; Fisk, Aaron T.; Hussey, Nigel E.

    2014-01-01

    White sharks are highly migratory apex predators, globally distributed in temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical waters. Knowledge of white shark biology and ecology has increased recently based on research at known aggregation sites in the Indian, Atlantic, and Northeast Pacific Oceans; however, few data are available for the Northwest Pacific Ocean. This study provides a meta-analysis of 240 observations of white sharks from the Northwest Pacific Ocean between 1951 and 2012. Records comprise reports of bycatch in commercial fisheries, media accounts, personal communications, and documentation of shark-human interactions from Russia (n = 8), Republic of Korea (22), Japan (129), China (32), Taiwan (45), Philippines (1) and Vietnam (3). Observations occurred in all months, excluding October-January in the north (Russia and Republic of Korea) and July-August in the south (China, Taiwan, Philippines, and Vietnam). Population trend analysis indicated that the relative abundance of white sharks in the region has remained relatively stable, but parameterization of a 75% increase in observer effort found evidence of a minor decline since 2002. Reliably measured sharks ranged from 126–602 cm total length (TL) and 16–2530 kg total weight. The largest shark in this study (602 cm TL) represents the largest measured shark on record worldwide. For all countries combined the sex ratio was non-significantly biased towards females (1∶1.1; n = 113). Of 60 females examined, 11 were confirmed pregnant ranging from the beginning stages of pregnancy (egg cases) to near term (140 cm TL embryos). On average, 6.0±2.2 embryos were found per litter (maximum of 10) and gestation period was estimated to be 20 months. These observations confirm that white sharks are present in the Northwest Pacific Ocean year-round. While acknowledging the difficulties of studying little known populations of a naturally low abundance species, these results highlight the need for dedicated

  8. Chemical Analysis of Modern Lamnid Shark Centra: Determination of the Life History?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labs-Hochstein, J.

    2005-12-01

    Lamnid sharks (great whites and their relatives) are of great interest not only to the scientific community but the public as well. Scientists have spent a great deal of time trying to study and understand the life history of great whites and their relatives. Since great whites do not survive well in captivity tagging and recapture studies and captured sharks from fishermen have been the main source of study. Currently there is no way the accurately age Lamnid sharks. However, sharks deposit light and dark bands on their vertebral centra throughout their lives. It is known in most sharks that darker denser portions being deposited during slower growth times (e.g., winter) and lighter portions being deposited during more rapid growth (e.g., summer). The problem is that there are several factors in which the growth of these couplets can vary depending upon physical environment (including temperature and water depth), food availability, and stress. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that a band pair (one light and one dark band) reflects a single year. Once, the periodicity of a band pair is determined then ages can be estimated and growth rates can be calculated. Oxygen and carbon isotopes along the growth axis of ten lamnid shark vertebral centra (including great whites, shortfin makos, and longfin makos) where used to determine the periodicity of the band pairs and indications of changes in eating habits. Bomb carbon dating was determined on two of the specimens to calibrate the cyclicity of the oxygen isotopes. Dissolved rare earth elements (REE) in seawater increase with water depth and towards the pelagic area. One exception is cerium. Cerium can be oxidized to a highly insoluble form separating it from other REE and being preferentially scavenged by suspended matter and therefore cerium decreases with water depth. Bulk samples where analyzed for rare earth elements (REE) from each of the ten centra to determine if the seawater signal was recorded in the centra and

  9. The last frontier: catch records of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Heather M; Lin, Victor; Tanaka, Sho; Velikanov, Anatoly; Mollet, Henry F; Wintner, Sabine P; Fordham, Sonja V; Fisk, Aaron T; Hussey, Nigel E

    2014-01-01

    White sharks are highly migratory apex predators, globally distributed in temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical waters. Knowledge of white shark biology and ecology has increased recently based on research at known aggregation sites in the Indian, Atlantic, and Northeast Pacific Oceans; however, few data are available for the Northwest Pacific Ocean. This study provides a meta-analysis of 240 observations of white sharks from the Northwest Pacific Ocean between 1951 and 2012. Records comprise reports of bycatch in commercial fisheries, media accounts, personal communications, and documentation of shark-human interactions from Russia (n = 8), Republic of Korea (22), Japan (129), China (32), Taiwan (45), Philippines (1) and Vietnam (3). Observations occurred in all months, excluding October-January in the north (Russia and Republic of Korea) and July-August in the south (China, Taiwan, Philippines, and Vietnam). Population trend analysis indicated that the relative abundance of white sharks in the region has remained relatively stable, but parameterization of a 75% increase in observer effort found evidence of a minor decline since 2002. Reliably measured sharks ranged from 126-602 cm total length (TL) and 16-2530 kg total weight. The largest shark in this study (602 cm TL) represents the largest measured shark on record worldwide. For all countries combined the sex ratio was non-significantly biased towards females (1∶1.1; n = 113). Of 60 females examined, 11 were confirmed pregnant ranging from the beginning stages of pregnancy (egg cases) to near term (140 cm TL embryos). On average, 6.0±2.2 embryos were found per litter (maximum of 10) and gestation period was estimated to be 20 months. These observations confirm that white sharks are present in the Northwest Pacific Ocean year-round. While acknowledging the difficulties of studying little known populations of a naturally low abundance species, these results highlight the need for dedicated research to

  10. Effects of prey size and mobility on prey-capture kinematics in leopard sharks triakis semifasciata

    PubMed

    Ferry-Graham

    1998-08-01

    Recent work on teleosts suggests that attack behaviors or kinematics may be modified by a predator on the basis of the size of the prey or the ability of the prey to sense predators and escape capture (elusivity). Sharks are generally presumed to be highly visual predators; thus, it is reasonable to expect that they might also be capable of such behavioral modulation. In this study, I investigated the effect of prey item size and type on prey-capture behavior in leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) that had been acclimated to feeding in the laboratory. Using high-speed video, sharks were filmed feeding on two sizes of the same prey item (thawed shrimp pieces) and two potentially more elusive prey items (live earthworms and live mud shrimp). In leopard sharks, little effect of prey elusivity was found for kinematic variables during prey capture. However, the large proportion of successful captures of the live prey suggests that they did not prove to be truly elusive prey items for the leopard shark. There were significant size effects on prey-capture kinematics, with the larger non-elusive items inducing greater head expansion during prey capture. Ram-suction index values also indicated that strikes on large, non-elusive prey had a significantly larger suction component than strikes on similar small prey items. This finding is interesting given that the two sizes of non-elusive prey item offered no differential challenge in terms of a performance consequence (reduced capture success). PMID:9679105

  11. The physiological response of the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) to longline capture.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Edward J; Mandelman, John W; Sloman, Katherine A; Liss, Stephanie; Danylchuk, Andy J; Cooke, Steven J; Skomal, Gregory B; Philipp, David P; Sims, David W; Suski, Cory D

    2012-06-01

    Longline fishing is the most common elasmobranch capture method around the world, yet the physiological consequences of this technique are poorly understood. To quantify the sub-lethal effects of longline capture in the commonly exploited Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi), 37 individuals were captured using standard, mid-water longlines. Hook timers provided hooking duration to the nearest minute. Once sharks were landed, blood samples were taken and used to measure a suite of physiological parameters. Control data were obtained by sampling an additional three unrestrained Caribbean reef sharks underwater at an established shark feeding site. The greatest level of physiological disruption occurred after 120-180min of hooking, whereas sharks exposed to minimal and maximal hook durations exhibited the least disturbed blood chemistry. Significant relationships were established between hooking duration and blood pH, pCO(2), lactate, glucose, plasma calcium and plasma potassium. Longline capture appears more benign than other methods assessed to date, causing a shift in the stress response from acute at the onset of capture to a sub-acute regime as the capture event progresses, apparently facilitating a degree of physiological recovery. Continued investigation into the physiological response of elasmobranchs to longline capture is vital for the effective management of such fisheries. PMID:21601646

  12. Movable shark scales act as a passive dynamic micro-roughness to control flow separation.

    PubMed

    Lang, Amy W; Bradshaw, Michael T; Smith, Jonathon A; Wheelus, Jennifer N; Motta, Philip J; Habegger, Maria L; Hueter, Robert E

    2014-09-01

    Shark scales on fast-swimming sharks have been shown to be movable to angles in excess of 50°, and we hypothesize that this characteristic gives this shark skin a preferred flow direction. During the onset of separation, flow reversal is initiated close to the surface. However, the movable scales would be actuated by the reversed flow thereby causing a greater resistance to any further flow reversal and this mechanism would disrupt the process leading to eventual flow separation. Here we report for the first time experimental evidence of the separation control capability of real shark skin through water tunnel testing. Using skin samples from a shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus, we tested a pectoral fin and flank skin attached to a NACA 4412 hydrofoil and separation control was observed in the presence of movable shark scales under certain conditions in both cases. We hypothesize that the scales provide a passive, flow-actuated mechanism acting as a dynamic micro-roughness to control flow separation. PMID:25046552

  13. The utility of near infrared spectroscopy for age estimation of deepwater sharks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigby, Cassandra L.; Wedding, Brett B.; Grauf, Steve; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.

    2014-12-01

    Reliable age information is vital for effective fisheries management, yet age determinations are absent for many deepwater sharks as they cannot be aged using traditional methods of growth bands counts. An alternative approach to ageing using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was investigated using dorsal fin spines, vertebrae and fin clips of three species of deepwater sharks. Ages were successfully estimated for the two dogfish, Squalus megalops and Squalus montalbani, and NIRS spectra were correlated with body size in the catshark, Asymbolus pallidus. Correlations between estimated-ages of the dogfish dorsal fin spines and their NIRS spectra were good, with S. megalops R2=0.82 and S. montalbani R2=0.73. NIRS spectra from S. megalops vertebrae and fin clips that have no visible growth bands were correlated with estimated-ages, with R2=0.89 and 0.76, respectively. NIRS has the capacity to non-lethally estimate ages from fin spines and fin clips, and thus could significantly reduce the numbers of sharks that need to be lethally sampled for ageing studies. The detection of ageing materials by NIRS in poorly calcified deepwater shark vertebrae could potentially enable ageing of this group of sharks that are vulnerable to exploitation.

  14. Shark tooth weapons from the 19th Century reflect shifting baselines in Central Pacific predator assemblies.

    PubMed

    Drew, Joshua; Philipp, Christopher; Westneat, Mark W

    2013-01-01

    The reefs surrounding the Gilbert Islands (Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific), like many throughout the world, have undergone a period of rapid and intensive environmental perturbation over the past 100 years. A byproduct of this perturbation has been a reduction of the number of shark species present in their waters, even though sharks play an important in the economy and culture of the Gilbertese. Here we examine how shark communities changed over time periods that predate the written record in order to understand the magnitude of ecosystem changes in the Central Pacific. Using a novel data source, the shark tooth weapons of the Gilbertese Islanders housed in natural history museums, we show that two species of shark, the Spot-tail (Carcharhinus sorrah) and the Dusky (C. obscurus), were present in the islands during the last half of the 19(th) century but not reported in any historical literature or contemporary ichthyological surveys of the region. Given the importance of these species to the ecology of the Gilbert Island reefs and to the culture of the Gilbertese people, documenting these shifts in baseline fauna represents an important step toward restoring the vivid splendor of both ecological and cultural diversity. PMID:23573214

  15. Shark cartilage 14 kDa protein as a dendritic cells activator.

    PubMed

    Safari, Elahe; Hassan, Zuhair M; Moazzeni, Seyed Mohammad

    2015-04-01

    Low molecular weight components of shark cartilage are reported to have anti-tumor as well as immuno-stimulating effects. Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that have a key role in establishment of anti-cancer immune response. In this study, the effect of 14 kDa protein from shark cartilage was investigated on stimulation and maturation of dendritic cells. The isolated 14 kDa protein from shark cartilage extract was added to DCs medium during overnight culture and their maturation and T cells stimulation potential was investigated. The majority of shark-cartilage-treated DCs expressed higher levels of maturation markers and were more effective in stimulation of allogenic T cells compared with non-treated DCs (p < 0.05). Our results showed that shark cartilage 14 kDa protein can potentially be used in DC-mediated T-cells stimulation and induction of desirable immune responses in clinical trials such as cancer immunotherapy. However, further studies are required to examine this proposal. PMID:25669314

  16. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives.

    PubMed

    Cagua, Edgar Fernando; Collins, Neal; Hancock, James; Rees, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize conservation or implement effective management plans. We used empirical recreational data and generalized mixed statistical models to conduct the first economic valuation (with direct spend as the primary proxy) of whale shark tourism in Maldives. We estimated that direct expenditures for whale shark focused tourism in the South Ari Marine Protected Area for 2012 and 2013 accounted for US$7.6 and $9.4 million respectively. These expenditures are based on an estimate of 72,000-78,000 tourists who are involved in whale shark excursions annually. That substantial amount of income to resort owners and operators, and tourism businesses in a relatively small area highlights the need to implement regulations and management that safeguard the sustainability of the industry through ensuring guest satisfaction and whale shark conservation. PMID:25165629

  17. A polypeptide from shark troponin I can inhibit angiogenesis and tumor growth.

    PubMed

    Xie, Qiuling; Yao, Sheng; Chen, Xiaojia; Xu, Lihui; Peng, Wendan; Zhang, Ling; Zhang, Qihao; Liang, Xu-Fang; Hong, An

    2012-02-01

    The shark troponin I gene (TnI) was found for the first time in this study to inhibit endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis. This shark TnI had 68.9% amino acid homology with human TnI, whereas the polypeptide from Lys91 to Leu123, which is thought to be the active site of TnI, had 78.8% homology with the corresponding fragment of human TnI. However, the polypeptide of shark had higher activity to inhibit the proliferation of HUVEC and tumor cell lines than that of human TnI. To investigate the anti-angiogenesis and anti-tumor effect of the shark TnI polypeptide, the DNA sequence of polypeptide (Lys91-Leu123) of white-spot catshark TnI(psTnI) was cloned and fused with the His-SUMO cDNA, followed by expression in Escherichia coli. After its purification by Ni(2+) affinity chromatography, the fusion His-SUMO-psTnI protein was digested with the SUMO enzyme to release psTnI. The inhibitory ability of this recombinant shark TnI polypeptide for angiogenesis was confirmed by chicken embryo allantoic membrane (CAM) test and IHC analysis. It was also found by breast carcinoma xenograft study in Balb/c mice that this polypeptide could inhibit tumor growth in vivo. PMID:21750912

  18. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Neal; Hancock, James; Rees, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize conservation or implement effective management plans. We used empirical recreational data and generalized mixed statistical models to conduct the first economic valuation (with direct spend as the primary proxy) of whale shark tourism in Maldives. We estimated that direct expenditures for whale shark focused tourism in the South Ari Marine Protected Area for 2012 and 2013 accounted for US$7.6 and $9.4 million respectively. These expenditures are based on an estimate of 72,000–78,000 tourists who are involved in whale shark excursions annually. That substantial amount of income to resort owners and operators, and tourism businesses in a relatively small area highlights the need to implement regulations and management that safeguard the sustainability of the industry through ensuring guest satisfaction and whale shark conservation. PMID:25165629

  19. Elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii) provides insights into the evolution of Hox gene clusters in gnathostomes.

    PubMed

    Ravi, Vydianathan; Lam, Kevin; Tay, Boon-Hui; Tay, Alice; Brenner, Sydney; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2009-09-22

    We have sequenced and analyzed Hox gene clusters from elephant shark, a holocephalian cartilaginous fish. Elephant shark possesses 4 Hox clusters with 45 Hox genes that include orthologs for a higher number of ancient gnathostome Hox genes than the 4 clusters in tetrapods and the supernumerary clusters in teleost fishes. Phylogenetic analysis of elephant shark Hox genes from 7 paralogous groups that contain all of the 4 members indicated an ((AB)(CD)) topology for the order of Hox cluster duplication, providing support for the 2R hypothesis (i.e., 2 rounds of whole-genome duplication during the early evolution of vertebrates). Comparisons of noncoding sequences of the elephant shark and human Hox clusters have identified a large number of conserved noncoding elements (CNEs), which represent putative cis-regulatory elements that may be involved in the regulation of Hox genes. Interestingly, in fugu more than 50% of these ancient CNEs have diverged beyond recognition in the duplicated (HoxA, HoxB, and HoxD) as well as the singleton (HoxC) Hox clusters. Furthermore, the b-paralogs of the duplicated fugu Hox clusters are virtually devoid of unique ancient CNEs. In contrast to fugu Hox clusters, elephant shark and human Hox clusters have lost fewer ancient CNEs. If these ancient CNEs are indeed enhancers directing tissue-specific expression of Hox genes, divergence of their sequences in vertebrate lineages might have led to altered expression patterns and presumably the functions of their associated Hox genes. PMID:19805301

  20. Trophic ecology and bioindicator potential of the North Atlantic tope shark.

    PubMed

    Torres, Paulo; da Cunha, Regina Tristão; Maia, Rodrigo; Dos Santos Rodrigues, Armindo

    2014-05-15

    Sharks are top marine predators vital in maintaining ecosystem health and food web structure. In order to assess tope shark (Galeorhinus galeus) trophic ecology, stable isotope ratios and trace metal concentrations in muscle tissue were determined, according to size and gender, for 124 individuals caught within the Mid-Atlantic region. Data was complemented and analysed according to previous stomach content information and compared with studies performed in the North East Atlantic. Our results revealed that tope sharks fed at a low trophic level and within a more pelagic-based food web when compared with other North Atlantic regions. MixSIR application reflected its piscivorous diet and study area topography, oligotrophic waters and volcanic nature, suggesting the occurrence of a Mid-Atlantic tope shark population. Considering a non-anthropogenic volcanic source for observed metal contents, the results reflect bioaccumulation and suggest biomagnification processes for As and Hg. These metals exceeded legislated maximum limits for some countries with a maximum of 28.98 ± 1.26 and 0.57 ± 0.01 mg kg(-1) wet weight, respectively, increasing significantly with size for both males and females. Conversely, Cr, Rb and Zn were relatively stable while Cd and Pb were not detected. Hg and Se were strongly correlated, suggesting a Se toxicity mitigation role. Given the tope shark travel capacity and the results obtained, the species may be used as a Mid-Atlantic bioindicator of environmental quality. PMID:24631620