Effect of Temperature on Oxygen Consumption of the Leopard Shark, Triakis Semifasciata
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The leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata, regularly resides in California's Tomales Bay, which is characterized by thermally different regions ranging from 10°C to 26°C during the summer. Past studies have shown that leopard sharks feed on benthic invertebrate prey similar to that of the sympatric bat ray, Myliobatis californica. Fishes' metabolic (oxygen consumption) rates typically increase with temperature increases, and we measured leopard sharks' metabolic responses and sensitivity to ambient temperature, using flow-through respirometry. Leopard shark oxygen consumption rate increased with increasing temperature, over a range of 12–24°C, with a typical temperature sensitivity (Q10 = 2.51). Whereas bat rays use a highly temperature-sensitive metabolism to efficiently feed (in warmer waters) and digest (in cooler waters) during different phases of the diel cycle, leopard sharks possess a more typical metabolic temperature sensitivity that allows for high-tide foraging, throughout the diel cycle.
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