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Movements of blue sharks (Prionace glauca) in depth and course

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Abstract

Acoustic telemetry was used to follow 22 blue sharks,Prionace glauca (Linnaeus), over the continental shelf and slope in the region between George's Bank and Cape Hatteras between 1979 and 1986. The sharks frequently made vertical excursions between the surface and depths of several hundred meters. The oscillations, which were repeated every few hours, were largest in the daytime and were smaller in amplitude and confined to depths near the thermocline at night. This behavior was prominent in trials from August through March, but was not seen from June through July. Diving is discussed in terms of a hunting tactic and behavioral thermoregulation. Most of the sharks moved in a southeasterly direction from the release point and many maintained a constant course day and night for several days. The sharks may orient to the earth's magnetic field, or to the ocean's electric fields, allowing them to swim on a constant heading in the absence of celestial cues. These possibilities are discussed in the appendix.

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Communicated by O. Kinne, Oldendorf/Luhe

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Carey, F.G., Scharold, J.V. & Kalmijn, A.J. Movements of blue sharks (Prionace glauca) in depth and course. Mar. Biol. 106, 329–342 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01344309

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