Marine Biology

, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 23–31 | Cite as

Age determination and growth of the bonnethead shark Sphyrna tiburo: a comparison of two populations

  • G. R. Parsons
Article

Abstract

From July 1982 to December 1986, a study of the age and growth of the bonnethead shark Sphyrna tiburo was conducted in Tampa and Florida Bays, Florida, USA. Tetracycline-injected sharks held in captivity and, to a lesser extent, tagged, released and recaptured, were utilized for validating the annual nature of the rings (herein defined as the narrow, translucent regions) appearing on vertebral centra. The technique was validated for all age groups (0 to 6+yr) included in the study. Marginal increment analysis likewise suggested annual ring formation. The rings formed during the winter, when water temperatures were lowest. Using the vertebral ring aging-technique, von Bertalanffy growth curves for males and females from both tampa and Florida Bays were constructed. Growth of sharks born and held in captivity demonstrated that the male and female growth curves diverge after ∼1 yr and that mean sizes at age are statistically distinct after ∼2 yr. In both populations, females grew to larger sizes tha males and apparently are longer-lived. Reproductively mature females from Tampa Bay were significantly larger than those from Florida Bay.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. R. Parsons
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA

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