Squaliolus Laticaudus in the Western North Atlantic Ocean: Distributional and Life History Observations
Abstract:The spined pygmy shark (Squaliolus laticaudus Smith and Radcliffe, 1912) is among the smallest known species of sharks and despite its wide distribution, fewer than 100 specimens have been reported globally. On 28 October 2007, 24 spined pygmy sharks, with total lengths ranging from 120 to 210 mm, were collected in a single deepwater trawl in the northern Gulf of Mexico. All specimens, with the exception of two females, were immature. Follicle conditions in the two mature females indicated that vitellogenesis and gestation are consecutive. The stomachs of six specimens contained single cephalopod or teleost prey. Our catch and examinations of museum accessed specimens confirm the questioned presence of spined pygmy sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and demonstrate that it is more widely distributed in the western North Atlantic Ocean than previously known.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2010
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