MEPS 465:185-192 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09901

Feeding chronology of six species of carcharhinid sharks in the western North Atlantic Ocean as inferred from longline capture data

William B. Driggers III*, Matthew D. Campbell, Eric R. Hoffmayer, G. Walter Ingram Jr.

National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Mississippi Laboratories, Pascagoula, Mississippi 39567, USA

ABSTRACT: Time-at-capture data for 6 species of carcharhinid sharks were collected during 2692 fishery-independent longline sets conducted in the western North Atlantic Ocean from 1995 through 2009. As operations occurred continuously throughout the diel cycle, time-at-capture data were used as a proxy for natural feeding behavior to examine the diel feeding chronology of blacknose Carcharhinus acronotus, spinner C. brevipinna, bull C. leucas, blacktip C. limbatus, sandbar C. plumbeus, and Atlantic sharpnose Rhizoprionodon terraenovae sharks. All 6 species were collected during all hours of the diel cycle; however, application of circular statistics revealed that spinner, bull, blacktip and sandbar sharks increased their feeding activity during nocturnal hours. Atlantic sharpnose and blacknose sharks exhibited no significant directedness in time-of-capture, indicating that these 2 species lack distinct feeding patterns. The species-specific differences in feeding chronologies of the sharks examined demonstrate that broad generalizations concerning the feeding behavior of sharks are not appropriate.


KEY WORDS: Chondrichthyes · Elasmobranch · Carcharhinidae · Diel behavior


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Cite this article as: Driggers WB III, Campbell MD, Hoffmayer ER, Ingram GW Jr (2012) Feeding chronology of six species of carcharhinid sharks in the western North Atlantic Ocean as inferred from longline capture data. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 465:185-192. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09901

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