MEPS 437:175-181 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09305

Elasmobranch egg capsules associated with modern and ancient cold seeps: a nursery for marine deep-water predators

Tina Treude1,*, Steffen Kiel2, Peter Linke1, Jörn Peckmann3, James L. Goedert4

1Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, Wischhofstrasse 1−3, 24148 Kiel, Germany
2Geobiology Group and Courant Research Center Geobiology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Geoscience Center, Goldschmidtstr. 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3Department of Geodynamics and Sedimentology, Center for Earth Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14 (UZA II),
1090 Vienna, Austria
4Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-3010, USA

ABSTRACT: At 2 modern deep-water cold-seep sites, the North Alex Mud Volcano (eastern Mediterranean Sea, water depth ~500 m) and the Concepción Methane Seep Area (south-east Pacific Ocean, water depth ~700 m), we found abundant catshark (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) and skate (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae) egg capsules, respectively, associated with carbonates and tubeworms. Fossilized catshark egg capsules were found at the 35 million year old Bear River Cold-Seep Deposit (Washington State, USA) closely associated with remains of tubeworms and sponges. We suggest that cold-seep ecosystems have served as nurseries for predatory elasmobranch fishes since at least late Eocene time and therewith possibly play an important role for the functioning of deep-water ecosystems.


KEY WORDS: Catshark · Skate · Authigenic carbonate · Tubeworm · Methane · Deep sea · Chemosynthesis


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Cite this article as: Treude T, Kiel S, Linke P, Peckmann J, Goedert JL (2011) Elasmobranch egg capsules associated with modern and ancient cold seeps: a nursery for marine deep-water predators. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 437:175-181. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09305

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