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Longfin Mako Shark, Isurus paucus, in the Eastern Tropical Pacific: First Evidence of Trophic Ontogeny Based on the Isotopic Analysis of Long-term Tissues


The ontogeny of pelagic species is difficult to study due to their migratory patterns and the inaccessibility of their habitats, leaving a large part of their life history little understood. The aim of this work is to investigate the trophic ontogeny of an individual of Isurus paucus based on isotopic analysis of long-term tissue (vertebra and muscle). Nine samples (taken from eight vertebral collagen and one muscle) were analysed, giving δ13C values between –17.8‰ and –14.6‰, indicating use of both coastal and oceanic zones. The δ13C and δ15N values suggest that this individual of I. paucus was a secondary-third level predator (trophic position: 3.5–5.7]), with a broad isotopic niche (SEAC = 3.97‰2). The isotopic values obtained suggest that I. paucus give birth in coastal waters and then migrate towards oceanic zones, while the level of isotopic enrichment could be an indicator of the food sources and trophic level of the mother.

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To the fishermen and fish merchants of Tarqui Beach (Manta, Ecuador). To the Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, Granada, Spain and Alejandro Sandoval-Londoño. To Daniel Edgar for the translation of the manuscript, as well as to the anonymous reviewers for their assistance in improving the manuscript.


Fundación Alium Pacific and Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC).

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Conceptualization: Colombo Estupiñán-Montaño; Methodology: Colombo Estupiñán-Montaño; Formal analysis and investigation: Colombo Estupiñán-Montaño; Writing – original draft preparation: Colombo Estupiñán-Montaño, Writing – review and editing: Antonio Delgado-Huertas.

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Correspondence to Colombo Estupiñán-Montaño.

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Estupiñán-Montaño, C., Delgado-Huertas, A. Longfin Mako Shark, Isurus paucus, in the Eastern Tropical Pacific: First Evidence of Trophic Ontogeny Based on the Isotopic Analysis of Long-term Tissues. Thalassas 38, 49–55 (2022).

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  • Ecuador
  • Maternal transference
  • Lamniformes
  • Trophic level
  • Isotopic niche