Feeding habits of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico

Feeding habits of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of... Tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, are apex predators that may structure marine communities through predation. Despite a large number of studies in other areas such as the Pacific Ocean, there are no quantitative data on the diet of tiger sharks in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Diet was assessed from 169 tiger sharks by life stage, area, and environmental factors. Fifteen prey groups were identified, with teleosts, molluscs, birds, cephalopods, and reptiles being the predominant prey categories. There was an ontogenetic shift in diet, prey size and diversity. Molluscs were the most common prey in smaller sharks, while teleosts and reptiles became more important in the diet of larger sharks. Dietary overlap was significant by area (Gulf of Mexico vs Atlantic Ocean) and among all life stages except for young-of-the-year and adult tiger sharks. Juvenile tiger sharks also demonstrated selective feeding by targeting gastropod feet over ingesting the entire animal. While results were similar to feeding studies conducted on tiger sharks in other ocean basins, an understanding of area-specific trophic interactions is necessary to inform decision support tools for ecosystem-based approaches to management. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Biology of Fishes Springer Journals

Feeding habits of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Zoology; Animal Systematics/Taxonomy/Biogeography; Environment, general; Nature Conservation
ISSN
0378-1909
eISSN
1573-5133
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10641-017-0706-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, are apex predators that may structure marine communities through predation. Despite a large number of studies in other areas such as the Pacific Ocean, there are no quantitative data on the diet of tiger sharks in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Diet was assessed from 169 tiger sharks by life stage, area, and environmental factors. Fifteen prey groups were identified, with teleosts, molluscs, birds, cephalopods, and reptiles being the predominant prey categories. There was an ontogenetic shift in diet, prey size and diversity. Molluscs were the most common prey in smaller sharks, while teleosts and reptiles became more important in the diet of larger sharks. Dietary overlap was significant by area (Gulf of Mexico vs Atlantic Ocean) and among all life stages except for young-of-the-year and adult tiger sharks. Juvenile tiger sharks also demonstrated selective feeding by targeting gastropod feet over ingesting the entire animal. While results were similar to feeding studies conducted on tiger sharks in other ocean basins, an understanding of area-specific trophic interactions is necessary to inform decision support tools for ecosystem-based approaches to management.

Journal

Environmental Biology of FishesSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 16, 2017

References

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