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, 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)...

  19. 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)...

  20. 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)...

  1. 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)...

  2. 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)...

  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 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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, 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  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®)—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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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

    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

  20. 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

  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 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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)....

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  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. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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