, Volume 167, Issue 6, pp 423-429

Regulation of body temperature in the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias

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Abstract

Stomach temperatures of three white sharks, Carcharodoncarcharias, (one reported previously and two new individuals) were intermittently recorded by acoustic telemetry at the South Farallon Islands, central California. Temperature profiles of the water column were obtained concurrently. Stomach temperatures were elevated over ambient water temperatures by as much as 14.3 °C. Stomach temperatures varied within a narrow range while ambient water temperature fluctuated over a much larger range, showing that this species regulates its body temperature. These data, in combination with previous work on the physiology and anatomy of white sharks, indicate that the white shark is endothermic. It appears that the heat retention system in lamnid sharks has allowed them to inhabit cold water and remain active predators of swift and agile prey.

Accepted: 17 February 1997