Variation of body condition and plasma energy substrates with life stage, sex, and season in wild-sampled nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum

Shannon G. Moorhead, Austin J. Gallagher, Liza Merly, Neil Hammerschlag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reported here are the relationships among morphological (i.e., body condition) and biochemical (i.e., plasma concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, free fatty acids, and ketone bodies and ketone body ratios) parameters related to energy storage and use, as well as the variation of such parameters, for 107 free-ranging nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum sampled off South Florida. Immature G. cirratum exhibited a higher variance in body condition, plasma free fatty acid concentrations and ketone body ratios compared to adults. Mature female G. cirratum had significantly higher body condition than mature males, driven by a seasonal increase in mature female body condition during the wet season. Mature male G. cirratum showed a decrease in the ketone body β-hydroxybutyric acid during the dry season. Taken together, this study provides a baseline assessment of body condition and internal physiological state for a data-poor marine species and demonstrates significant ontogenetic, sexual and seasonal variation in G. cirratum energetic state. As concluded by other studies of energy metabolism in free-ranging sharks, this research highlights the importance of considering intraspecific patterns and sampling context for inferring the drivers of variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-693
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Ginglymostoma cirratum
  • body condition
  • cholesterol
  • free fatty acids
  • ketone bodies
  • triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Variation of body condition and plasma energy substrates with life stage, sex, and season in wild-sampled nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this