Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 59–65 | Cite as

The effects of ration level on food retention time in juvenile lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris

  • Bradley M. Wetherbee
  • Samuel H. Gruber
Full paper


Fecal production was monitored to observe the effects of meal size on retention time of food in the digestive tracts of lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. Initial appearance of feces occurred more rapidly when ration level was increased. The onset of fecal production was negatively correlated with rate of intake. Production of feces continued for a longer period of time when meal size was increased. Retention time of food was directly related to feeding rate, suggesting that the rate of digestion was constant. The correlation between retention time and intake on a percentage body weight basis was greater than the correlation between retention time and intake on an energy density basis. The use of agar to bind food may have delayed digestion and prolonged food passage for sharks fed an experimental diet.

Key words

Meal size Rate of energy intake Fecal production Transit time 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley M. Wetherbee
    • 1
  • Samuel H. Gruber
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biology and Living Resources, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiU.S.A.

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