NEWSLETTER 12/2012 8. December 2012



I wish you and your family marry Christmas and a happy new year!


¡Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo!               Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo!

Feliz Natal e próspero ano novo

Frohe Weihnachen und ein glücklichen neues Jahr!

Joyeux Noël et bonne année!                             Glædelig jul og godt nytår!




Dear friends, thank you very much for your support!





  • Martin Licht, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Paleontology, Freiberg, Germany
  • Bjoern C. Schaeffner, Department of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Ian D. Whittington, Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia (Homepage)
  • Gerard R. Case, PO. Box 664, Little River, SC 29566, USA
  • Dr. Dení Ramírez Macías, Tiburón Ballena México de Conciencia México, Manatí 4802, Col. Esperanza III, La Paz, Baja California Sur 23090, Mexico (Homepage)
  • Dr. David Marancik, USDA-Agricultural Research Services, National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture, Kearneysville, USA
  • Tiburón Ballena México/Whale Shark México, La Paz, Baja California Sur 23090, Mexico (Homepage)




         Partner in Google-Maps:                           




Many thanks to Dr. Dení Ramírez Macías, Tiburón Ballena México de Conciencia México for the images of Rhincodon typus (Whale shark, Tiburon ballena), e.g.:



More images: see species description of  Rhincodon typus!


Please send your images to shark-references!




Many thanks for sending missing papers:


Dipl.Ing. Lutz Andres

Oliver Landemaine

Jorge Domingo Carrillo Briceño


Shark-References would kindly like to ask you for your contribution to this project.

Please support and send missing papers (not listed papers or papers without the infosymbol) to



News from partners:


Please note that NMMNH Bulletin 53, which has several articles on fossil sharks, is now online free at website listed below.


Spencer G. Lucas, Ph.D.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

1801 Mountain Road N. W.

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104-1375 USA






News from shark-references:




New! ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) Number for the publication of shark-references!


"Bibliography database of living/fossil sharks, rays and chimaeras (Chondrichtyes: Elasmobranchii, Holocephali)".

© Edited By: Jürgen Pollerspöck, Benediktinerring 34, D-94569 Stephansposching; Germany


here you will find the database reports:


Actually I prepare the new report "Papers of the Year 2012"! Please check your list of references and send me missing papers as soon as possible! The new report will be published in January 2013!






New described species:




CASE, G.R. & COOK, T.D. & WILSON, M.V.H. & BORODIN, P.D.  2012 A new species of the sclerorhynchid sawfish Borodinopristis from the Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) of North Carolina, USA. Historical Biology, 24 (6): 592-597


New species: Borodinopristis shannoni

Abstract: Elasmobranch fossils recovered from Campanian marine exposures at Elizabethtown, Bladen County, NC, include species from at least seven genera of sharks and four genera of batoids. Of particular interest is the recovery of multiple isolated rostral spines from a new sclerorhynchid sawfish, Borodinopristis shannoni, sp. nov. Species of Borodinopristis are known from oral teeth and/or rostral spines (‘rostral teeth’ for some authors). In species known from the latter, the spines differ from those of other sclerorhynchids by the presence of one or more ‘collared’ barbs on the posterior margin of the crown. Unlike the previously described B. schwimmeri, the rostral spines of the new species have well-developed hooked barbs with collars (curved, connected crests) extending asymmetrically onto the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the spine, as well as small, rudimentary barbs. Also unlike B. schwimmeri, the anterior margin of the spine is strongly convex and there is no enamelled collar at the base of the crown. The new species also occurs in the Upper Cretaceous of the Gulf Coastal Plain.





New Paper

Rezent Papers:


AJEMIAN, M.J. & POWERS, S.P. 2013 Foraging effects of cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) along barrier islands of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 439: 119-128

AKMAJIAN, A.M. & LAMBOURN, D.M & LANCE, M.M. & RAVERTY, S. & GAYDOS, J.K. 2012 Mortality Related to Spotted Ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei) in Pacific Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Washington State. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 48 (4): 1057-1062

BISWAS, S. & MISHRA, S.S. & DAS, N.P.I. & NAYAK, L. & SELVANAYAGAM, M. & SATPATHY, K.K. 2012 First Record of Eleven Reef Inhabiting Fishes from Tamil Nadu Coast of India, Bay of Bengal. Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 65 (2): 105-113

BORSA, P. & ARLYZA, I.S. & LAPORTE, M. & BERREBI, P. 2012 Population genetic structure of blue-spotted maskray Neotrygon kuhlii and two other Indo-West Pacific stingray species (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae), inferred from size-polymorphic intron markers. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 438: 32-40

COPPOLA, F. & SPERONE, E. & CIRCOSTA, V. & PARISE, G. & GIGLIO, S. & MADEO, E. & MICARELLI, P. & TRIPEPI, S. & RIBAS, A. & MILAZZO, C. 2012 Preliminary data on the elminthfauna of some elasmobranchs from Calabria (central Mediterranean, Southern Italy). Poster Abstract. In: Progrtamm and Abstracts, 16. European Elasmobranch Association Conference (EEA), Italy: 95 rezent

DOVE, A.D.M. & LEISEN, J. & ZHOU, M. & BYRNE, J.J. & LIM-HING, K. & WEBB, H.D. & GELBAUM, L. & VIANT, M.R. & KUBANEK, J. & FERNÁNDEZ, F.M. 2012 Biomarkers of Whale Shark Health: A Metabolomic Approach. PLoS ONE, 7 (11): e49379

ESPINOZA, M. & CLARKE, T.M. & VILLALOBOS-ROJAS, F. & WEHRTMANN, I.S. 2012 Diet composition and diel feeding behaviour of the banded guitarfish Zapteryx xyster along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Central America. Journal of Fish Biology, in press

HAMMERSCHLAG, N. & LUO, J. & IRSCHICK, D.J. & AULT, J.S. 2012 A Comparison of Spatial and Movement Patterns between Sympatric Predators: Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) and Atlantic Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus). PLoS ONE, 7 (9): e45958

HEITHAUS, M.R. & WIRSING, A.J. & DILL, L.M. 2012 The ecological importance of intact top-predator populations: a synthesis of 15 years of research in a seagrass ecosystem. Marine and Freshwater Research, 63 (11): 1039-1050

LICHT, M. & BARTSCH, P. 2012 Note on the terminal nerve in chimaeroid fishes (Holocephali, Chimaeridae). Cybium, in press rezent

LICHT, M. & FISCHER, J. & KRIWET, J. & SCHNEIDER, J.W. & BUCHWITZ, M. & BARTSCH, P. 2012 Chondrichthyan egg capsule morphology and its possible phylogenetic information. In: Abstractband IX. Tagung der Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie e.V. (GFI), 28.-30.  September 2012 in Düsseldorf:  rezent

LICHT, M. & SCHMUECKER, K. & HANEL, R. & BARTSCH, P. & PAECKERT, M. 2012 Contribution to the molecular phylogenetic analysis of extant holocephalan fishes (Holocephali, Chimaeriformes). Organism, Diversity and Evolution, 12 (4): 421-432

MARANCIK, D.P. & LEARY, J.H. & FAST, M.M. & FLAJNIK, M.F. & CAMUS, A.C. 2012 Humoral response of captive zebra sharks Stegostoma fasciatum to salivary gland proteins of the leech Branchellion torpedinis. Fish and Shellfish Immunology, 33 (4): 1000-1007

MARSILI, L. & RIZZUTO, S. & GIANNETTI, M. & COPPOLA, D. & CASINI, S. & FOSSI, M.C. & ANDREOTTI, S. & CONRAD, M. & VAN WYK, H. & SPERONE, E. & TRIPEPI, S. & MICARELLI, P. 2012 Skin biopsy as a sensitive non-lethal technique for the ecotoxicological studies of South African  great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). Abstract. In: Progrtamm and Abstracts, 16. European Elasmobranch Association Conference (EEA), Italy: 32 rezent

MCCULLY, S.R. & SCOTT, F. & ELLIS, J.R. 2012 Lengths at maturity and conversion factors for skates (Rajidae) around the British Isles, with an analysis of data in the literature. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69 (10): 1812-1822

METHRATTA, E.T. & LINK, J.S. 2012 Feeding hotspots for four northwest Atlantic groundfish species. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69 (10): 1710-1721

MEYER, C.G. & HOLLAND, K.N. 2012 Autonomous measurement of ingestion and digestion processes in free-swimming sharks. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215 (21): 3681-3684

MICARELLI, P. & DI GRUMO, D. & DE LUCIA, L. & SPERONE, E. 2012 Individual identification of small-spotted catsharks (Scyliorhinus canicula Linnaeus 1758) for captivity research. Poster Abstract. In: Progrtamm and Abstracts, 16. European Elasmobranch Association Conference (EEA), Italy: 76 rezent

MORRIS, A.L. & STREMME, D.W. & SHEPPARD, B.J. & WALSH, M.T. FARINA, L.L. & FRANCIS-FLOYD, R. 2012 The onset of goiter in several species of sharks following the addition of ozone to a touch pool. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 43 (3): 621-624

RAMÍREZ-MACÍAS, D. & QUEIROZ, N. & BRUNNSCHWEILER, J.M. 2012 Spatial Dynamics of Whale Sharks Satellite Tagged in the Gulf of California. Abstract. In: Progrtamm and Abstracts, 16. European Elasmobranch Association Conference (EEA), Italy: 48 rezent

RAMÍREZ-MACÍAS, D. & VÁZQUEZ-HAIKIN, A. & VÁZQUEZ-JUÁREZ, R. 2012 Whale shark Rhincodon typus populations along the west coast of the Gulf of California and implications for management. Endangered Species Research, 18 (2): 115-128

REEVE, A.J. & HENDERSON, A.C. 2012 New mobulid records from Oman. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, in press

ROCHA, F. & GADIG, O.B.F. 2012 Reproductive biology of the guitarfish Rhinobatos percellens (Chondrichthyes, Rhinobatidae) from the São Paulo Coast, Brazil, western South Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology, in press

ŠANTIĆ, M. & RAĐA, B. & PALLAORO, A. 2012 Feeding habits of small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula Linnaeus, 1758) from the eastern central Adriatic Sea. Marine Biology Research, 8 (10): 1003-1011

SHEPHARD, S. & GERRITSEN, H. & KAISER, M.J. & REID, D.G. 2012 Spatial Heterogeneity in Fishing Creates de facto Refugia for Endangered Celtic Sea Elasmobranchs. PLoS ONE, 7 (11): e49307

SPERONE, E. & MICARELLI, P. & ANDREOTTI, S. & BRANDMAYR, P. & BERNABO, I. & BRUNELLI, E. & TRIPEPI, S. 2012 Surface behaviour of bait-attracted white sharks at Dyer Island (South Africa). Marine Biology Research, 8 (10): 982-991

SPERONE, E. & MICARELLI, P. & CIRCOSTA, V. & LEONE, A. & CAMIGLIANO, G. & MUIÀ, C. & DRAMISINO, A. & TOSCANI, F. & CHIEPPA, F. & IAFRATE, A. & TORALDO SERRA, M.L. & TRIPEPI, S. 2012 Surface behaviour of bait-attracted white sharks at Dyer Island (South Africa). Poster Abstract. In: Progrtamm and Abstracts, 16. European Elasmobranch Association Conference (EEA), Italy: 93 rezent

SPERONE, E. & MICARELLI, P. & CIRCOSTA, V. & MILAZZO, C. & PARISE, G. & SANGERMANO, I. & MADEO, E. & ROCCA, D. & SCALISE, S. & CAPPA, P. & LUCIFORA, G. & TRIPEPI, S. & GIGLIO, S. 2012 Contribution to the distribution of sharks in the Calabrian seas (central Mediterranean, Southern Italy). Poster Abstract. In: Progrtamm and Abstracts, 16. European Elasmobranch Association Conference (EEA), Italy: 94 rezent

ŚWIDERSKI, Z. & MIQUEL, J. & MARIGO, A.M. & GIBSONE, D.I. 2012 Ultrastructure of vitellogenesis and vitellocytes in the trypanorhynch cestode Aporhynchus menezesi, a parasite of the velvet belly lanternshark Etmopterus spinax. [Ultrastructure de la vitellogénèse et des vitellocytes chez le trypanorhynque Aporhynchus menezesi, parasite du sagre commun Etmopterus spinax] Comptes Rendus Biologies, 335 (9): 573-584

TAN, Y.Y. & KODZIUS, R. & TAY, B.-H. & TAY, A. & BRENNER, S. & VENKATESH, B. 2012 Sequencing and Analysis of Full-Length cDNAs, 5′-ESTs and 3′-ESTs from a Cartilaginous Fish, the Elephant Shark (Callorhinchus milii). PLoS ONE, 7 (10): e47174

VAUDO, J.J. & HEITHAUS, M.R. 2012 Diel and seasonal variation in the use of a nearshore sandflat by a ray community in a near pristine system. Marine and Freshwater Research, 63 (11): 1077-1084

WEARMOUTH, V.J. & SOUTHALL, E.J. & MORRITT, D. & SIMS, D.W. 2012 Identifying reproductive events using archival tags: egg-laying behaviour of the small spotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula. Journal of Fish Biology, in press

WINTHER-JANSON, M. & WUERINGER, B.E. & SEYMOUR, J.E. 2012 Electroreceptive and Mechanoreceptive Anatomical Specialisations in the Epaulette Shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum). PLoS ONE, 7 (11): e49857

WIRSING, A.J. & HEITHAUS, M.R. 2012 Behavioural transition probabilities in dugongs change with habitat and predator presence: implications for sirenian conservation. Marine and Freshwater Research, 63 (11): 1069-1076





ÁVILA, S.P. & RAMALHO, R. & VULLO, R. 2012 Systematics, palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography of the Neogene fossil sharks from the Azores (Northeast Atlantic). [Systématique, paléoécologie et paléobiogéographie des requins fossiles du Néogène des Açores (Atlantique Nord)]. Annales de Paléontologie, 98 (3): 167-189

BAJPAI, S. & PRASAD, G.V.R. & PRASAD, V. & KRISHNA, J. & SARKAR, A. 2012 Recent Advances on Phanerozoic Biodiversity, Bioevents and Climate in India. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, 78 (3, Sp. Iss. SI): 445-455

CARRILLO-BRICEÑO, J.D. 2012 Presencia de Ptychodus mortoni (Elasmobranchii: Ptychodontidae) en el cretácico superior de Venezuela. (Presence of Ptychodus mortoni (Elasmobranchii: Ptychodontidae) in the upper cretaceous of Venezuela). Revista Geológica de América Central, 46: 145-150

CASE, G.R. & COOK, T.D. & WILSON, M.V.H. & BORODIN, P.D.  2012 A new species of the sclerorhynchid sawfish Borodinopristis from the Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) of North Carolina, USA. Historical Biology, 24 (6): 592-597

HERMAN, J. & VAN WAES, H. 2012 Observations concerning the Evolution and the Parasystematic of all the living and fossil Heterodontiformes. Géominpal Belgica 3, 17 pp

JOHNSON, G.D. 2012 Sharks from the Geraldine Bonebed, Lower Permian of Texas. Abstract. 72nd Annual Meeting Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts: 118

KLUG, S. & KRIWET, J. 2012 An offshore fish assemblage (Elasmobranchii, Actinopterygii) from the Late Jurassic of NE Spain. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, in press

PIMIENTO, C. & GONZALEZ-BARBA, G. & HENDY, A.J.W. & JARAMILLO, C. & MACFADDEN, B.J. & MONTES, C. & SUAREZA, S.C. & SHIPPRITT, M. 2012 Early Miocene chondrichthyans from the Culebra Formation, Panama: a window into marine vertebrate faunas before closure the Central American Seaway. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, in press







great video:

Horn Shark Vs Angel Shark






Fish Ear Bones Point to Climate Impacts

Nov. 27, 2012 — The earbones, or 'otoliths', help fish to detect movement and to orient themselves in the water. Otoliths set down annual growth rings that can be measured and counted to estimate the age and growth rates of fish.


"Otoliths can form the basis of new techniques for modelling fish growth, productivity and distribution in future environments," said Dr John Morrongiello of CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship, lead author of a paper published online in Nature Climate Change November 28.

"They are widely used to support fishery stock assessments, and are beginning to be used to measure and predict ecological responses to ocean warming and climate change.

"Any change identified in growth and age maturity, especially of commercially-important species, clearly has implications for forecasting future stock states and the sustainable management of fisheries."

Dr Ron Thresher, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

"Millions of otoliths are archived in research laboratories and museums worldwide, and many fish species live for decades and some, such as orange roughy, live for up to 150 years.

"Their otoliths record variations in growth rates that reflect environmental conditions. Longer-lived fish and older samples take us back as far as the 1800s."

The paper, co-authored by Dr Ron Thresher and Dr David Smith of CSIRO, builds on earlier research by Dr Thresher that identified the potential of using fish 'hard parts', (such as otoliths), and deep ocean corals to understand environmental change. It outlines a framework in which Australian research institutions can analyse hard parts and assess past and future impacts on a range of species.

In the next research phase, scientists at CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Adelaide will study selected species of commercial interest, including tiger flathead, black bream, blue gropers, barramundi and tropical snappers.

"We will use otoliths to investigate the environmental drivers of fish growth for many species around Australia," Dr Morrongiello said.

"This will allow us to generate a continental-scale evaluation of climate change impacts on Australia's fishes and help to guide the conservation and management of our aquatic environments into the future."

Dr Thresher said there had already been extensive use of hard part archives from corals to reflect on climate variability, such as El Niño events, and to reconstruct environmental histories.

"Any change identified in growth and age maturity, especially of commercially-important species, clearly has implications for forecasting future stock states and the sustainable management of fisheries," Dr Thresher said.

"A better ability to predict such change will greatly enhance our ability to forecast, manage and adapt to the impacts of climate change in marine and freshwater systems."



Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byCSIRO Australia.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Magnified thin section taken from the otolith of a five year old tiger flathead caught in eastern Bass Strait. (Credit: Image courtesy of CSIRO Australia)


Journal Reference:

1.    John R. Morrongiello, Ronald E. Thresher, David C. Smith.Aquatic biochronologies and climate changeNature Climate Change, 2012; 2 (12): 849 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1616





New Whale Shark Study Used Metabolomics to Help Understand Shark and Ray Health


Nov. 16, 2012 — New research from Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Institute of Technology provides evidence that a suite of techniques called "metabolomics" can be used to determine the health status of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), the world's largest fish species. The study, led by Dr. Alistair Dove, Director of Research & Conservation at Georgia Aquarium and an adjunct professor at Georgia Tech, found that the major difference between healthy and unhealthy sharks was the concentration of homarine in their in serum -- indicating that homarine is a useful biomarker of health status for the species.

"This research and its resulting findings are vitally important to ensuring Georgia Aquarium's and the scientific community's care, knowledge, and understanding of not only whale sharks, but similar species of sharks and rays," said Dr. Greg Bossart, Senior Vice President of Animal Health, Research & Conservation and Chief Veterinary Officer at Georgia Aquarium. "The publishing of this clinical research provides a greater opportunity for scientists and Zoological professionals to understand the Animals in our care and can be used to help wild populations, which puts us ahead of the curve in the integrated understanding of animal biology."The paper, "Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach," which is published in the journal PLOS ONE, is especially significant to the veterinary science community because the study documents the results of a rare opportunity to collect and analyze blood from whale sharks. The paper also comprises the only work yet carried out on biochemistry of the world's largest fish.

Previous research and observations showed that traditional veterinary blood chemistry tests were not as useful with whale sharks; most likely because such tests are designed for mammals and comparatively less is known about shark and ray blood. Dr. Dove and six colleagues from Georgia Tech set out to significantly increase knowledge of whale shark biochemistry by examining the metabolite composition of all six whale sharks which have been cared for at Georgia Aquarium. By using metabolomics, the researchers were able to determine which chemical compounds were present in the shark blood, without knowing ahead of time what they are.

"It is vitally important for us to continue to learn how to best support the whale sharks in our care," said Dove, who, along with the GA Tech team, spent three years developing the research. "We began the study by asking ourselves, 'What should we be looking for in whale shark serum?' and 'What compounds in serum might best indicate the health status of whale sharks?'"

Not only did the study determine that metabolic profiles of unhealthy whale sharks were markedly different than those of healthy sharks in general and particularly the different levels of homarine, but the research team also identified more than 25 other compounds that differed in concentration based on the health of the individual.

Findings detailed in "Biomarkers of whale shark health: a metabolomic approach" will help scientists and veterinarians to better understand the biology of whale sharks in their natural setting, and by homology, the biology of other shark and ray species that may be similar. Further, data compiled in the research will provide a reference library about whale shark biochemistry that can be consulted in future studies and importantly, adds new knowledge that will be useful to those who care for sharks and rays on a daily basis.

"This sort of advanced research is only made possible through collaboration between aquarium scientists and experts at our partner universities," said Dr. Dove.

The research team included, from Georgia Tech: Dr. Johannes Leisen, research scientist; Dr. Manshi Zhou, post-doctoral candidate; Dr. Jonathan Byrne, post-doctoral candidate; Krista Lim-Hing, student; Dr. Leslie Gelbaum, Dr. Mark Viant, Dr. Julia Kubanek, and Dr. Facundo Fernandez; and from Georgia Aquarium: Harry D. Webb, research technician. Additional support also came from Georgia Tech's National Science Foundation (NSF) undergraduate research program in mathematical biology.


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byGeorgia Institute of Technology.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alistair D. M. Dove, Johannes Leisen, Manshui Zhou, Jonathan J. Byrne, Krista Lim-Hing, Harry D. Webb, Leslie Gelbaum, Mark R. Viant, Julia Kubanek, Facundo M. Fernández. Biomarkers of Whale Shark Health: A Metabolomic ApproachPLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (11): e49379 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049379

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

New research from Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Institute of Technology provides evidence that a suite of techniques called “metabolomics” can be used to determine the health status of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), the world’s largest fish species. (Credit: Georgia Aquarium)