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Embryo development and maternal–embryo nutritional relationships of piked spurdog (Squalus megalops)
Braccini, J.M.; Hamlett, W.C.; Gillanders, B.M.; Walker, T.I. (2007). Embryo development and maternal–embryo nutritional relationships of piked spurdog (Squalus megalops). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 150(4): 727-737. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0393-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Braccini, J.M.
  • Hamlett, W.C.
  • Gillanders, B.M.
  • Walker, T.I.

Abstract
    The maternal–embryo relationship was determined for the piked spurdog (Squalus megalops). In addition, the increase in offspring size with maternal size was studied and the embryonic development was described. Wet weight of in utero eggs and offspring size was correlated with maternal size; larger females produced larger embryos which would have higher survival rate and reproductive value. All embryos present in a female were at a similar stage of development. The external yolk sac is reabsorbed late in gestation, suggesting that embryos are mostly nourished by yolk sac reserves. Embryo size-at-birth varied considerably (180–244 mm total length) as a result of the significant variability in ova size at ovulation. The amounts of water, organic and inorganic matter of embryos at different stages of development were measured to determine possible maternal contributions during embryonic development. Total wet weight from smallest and largest in utero eggs to smallest and largest term embryos changed by +46 and +58%, respectively. This pattern was due to a change in water content by +137 and +154%, and inorganic matter by +100 and +156%. Organic matter of smallest and largest in utero eggs changed by -23 and -17%, respectively. The uterus of pregnant females became specialised for water and mineral transport, not nutrient provision. These results indicate that S. megalops is a strict yolk-sac viviparous species with no maternal contribution of organic matter during development.

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