Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 38, Issue 1–3, pp 175–185 | Cite as

Ovarian steroid synthesis and the hormonal control of the elasmobranch reproductive tract

  • Ian P. Callard
  • Lisa A. Fileti
  • Thomas J. Koob
Article

Synopsis

The reproductive biology of the chondricthyan fishes is remarkably sophisticated. Using both oviparous and viviparous reproductive modes, the group has generally adapted the style of bringing forth relatively few young at one time, each representing the investment of a great deal of maternal energy. The oviparous species foreshadow the situation common in oviparous reptiles and universal in birds. On the other hand, viviparous species range from simple internal incubators, in which large yolked eggs are retained, to other species in which the complexity of placentation and yolk reduction approach the eutherian condition. Further, in certain viviparous elasmobranchs the phenomenon of histotrophic nutrition attains an importance and complexity not seen in any other vertebrate group including mammals. Internal fertilization and amniote patterns of reproductive tract development also operate in virtually all elasmobranchs. The summary of work presented here suggests that these female reproductive styles are associated with a reproductive endocrinology which is the archetype for amniote vertebrates.

Key words

Oviparity Viviparity Yolk Placentation Amniote Endocrinology 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian P. Callard
    • 1
  • Lisa A. Fileti
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Koob
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyBoston UniversityBostonU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueU.S.A.
  3. 3.Mount Desert Island Biological LaboratorySalsbury CoveU.S.A.

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