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Ontogenetic vertebral growth patterns in the basking shark Cetorhinus maximus
Natanson, L.J.; Wintner, S.P.; Johansson, F.; Piercy, A.; Campbell, P.; De Maddalena, A.; Gulak, S.J.B.; Human, B.; Fulgosi, F.C.; Ebert, D.A.; Hemida, F.; Mollen, F.H.; Vanni, S.; Burgess, G.H.; Compagno, L.J.V.; Wedderburn-Maxwell, A. (2008). Ontogenetic vertebral growth patterns in the basking shark Cetorhinus maximus. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 361: 267-278. dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps07399
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 223925 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Age; Growth; Vertebrae; Cetorhinus maximus (Gunnerus, 1765) [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    basking shark; Cetorhinus maximus; age growth; vertebrae

Authors  Top 
  • Natanson, L.J.
  • Wintner, S.P.
  • Johansson, F.
  • Piercy, A.
  • Campbell, P.
  • De Maddalena, A., more
  • Gulak, S.J.B.
  • Human, B.
  • Fulgosi, F.C.
  • Ebert, D.A.
  • Hemida, F.
  • Mollen, F.H., more
  • Vanni, S.
  • Burgess, G.H.
  • Compagno, L.J.V.
  • Wedderburn-Maxwell, A.

Abstract
    Age and growth of the basking shark Cetorhinus maximus (Gunnerus) was examined using vertebral samples from 13 females (261 to 856 cm total length [TL]), 16 males (311 to 840 cm TL) and 11 specimens of unknown sex (376 to 853 cm TL). Vertebral samples were obtained worldwide from museums and institutional and private collections. Examination of multiple vertebrae from along the vertebral column of 10 specimens indicated that vertebral morphology and band pair (alternating opaque and translucent bands) counts changed dramatically along an individual column. Smaller sharks had similar band pair counts along the length of the vertebral column while large sharks had a difference of up to 24 band pairs between the highest and lowest count along the column. Our evidence indicates that band pair deposition may be related to growth and not time in this species and thus the basking shark cannot be directly aged using vertebral band pair counts.

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