Many cephalopods exhibit early exponential growth, which abruptly shifts to a much slower rate. Using a simple model of the energy balance between intake from food and expenditure in growth plus metabolism, we consider how the two-phase growth pattern may be explained in terms of energy conservation. We determine the post-hatch size and age at which exponential growth would be expected to terminate. The model is tested with laboratory hatchling data obtained for the giant Australian cuttlefish Sepia apama . Together with growth data obtained for a related species, Sepia officinalis , model projections for critical transition size and age interestingly suggest that the metabolism of S. apama in the natural habitat may be three to four times higher than in captivity. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the critical transition size is in general more sensitive than critical transition time to any invoked changes in metabolic rate.
Marine & Freshwater Research – CSIRO Publishing
Published: Jun 22, 2004
Keywords: critical transition size, critical transition time, cuttlefish, energy conservation, growth, metabolism.
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