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Aerobic metabolic rates of swimming juvenile mako sharks, Isurus oxyrinchus
Sepulveda, C.A.; Graham, J.B.; Bernal, D. (2007). Aerobic metabolic rates of swimming juvenile mako sharks, Isurus oxyrinchus. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 152(5): 1087-1094.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
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  • Sepulveda, C.A.
  • Graham, J.B.
  • Bernal, D.

    The shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, is a highly streamlined epipelagic predator that has several anatomical and physiological specializations hypothesized to increase aerobic swimming performance. A large swim-tunnel respirometer was used to measure oxygen consumption (MO2) in juvenile mako sharks (swimming under controlled temperature and flow conditions) to test the hypothesis that the mako shark has an elevated maintenance metabolism when compared to other sharks of similar size swimming at the same water temperature. Specimen collections were conducted off the coast of southern California, USA (32.94°N and 117.37°W) in 2001-2002 at sea-surface temperatures of 16.0–21.0°C. Swimming MO2 and tail beat frequency (TBF) were measured for nine mako sharks [77–107 cm in total length (TL) and 4.4 to 9.5 kg body mass] at speeds from 28 to 54 cm s-1 (0.27–0.65 TL s-1) and water temperatures of 16.5–19.5°C. Standard metabolic rate (SMR) was estimated from the extrapolation to 0-velocity of the linear regression through the LogMO2 and swimming speed data. The estimated LogSMR (±SE) for the pooled data was 2.0937 ± 0.058 or 124 mg O2 kg-1 h-1. The routine metabolic rate (RMR) calculated from seventeen MO2 measurements from all specimens, at all test speeds was (mean ± SE) 344 ± 22 mg O2 kg-1h-1 at 0.44 ± 0.03 TL s-1. The maximum metabolic rate (MMR) measured for any one shark in this study was 541 mg O2 kg-1h-1 at 54 cm s-1 (0.65 TL s-1). The mean (±SE) TBF for 39 observations of steady swimming at all test speeds was 1.00 ± 0.01 Hz, which agrees with field observations of 1.03 ± 0.03 Hz in four undisturbed free-swimming mako sharks observed during the same time period. These findings suggest that the estimate of SMR for juvenile makos is comparable to that recorded for other similar-sized, ram-ventilating shark species (when corrected for differences in experimental temperature). However, the mako RMR and MMR are apparently among the highest measured for any shark species.

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