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Hypoprion bigelowi, a Synonym of Carcharhinus signatus (Pisces: Carcharhinidae), with a Description of Ontogenetic Heterodonty in This Species and Notes on Its Natural History

William Raschi, John A. Musick and L. J. V. Compagno
Copeia
Vol. 1982, No. 1 (Feb. 23, 1982), pp. 102-109
DOI: 10.2307/1444274
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1444274
Page Count: 8
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Hypoprion bigelowi, a Synonym of Carcharhinus signatus (Pisces: Carcharhinidae), with a Description of Ontogenetic Heterodonty in This Species and Notes on Its Natural History
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Abstract

The upper jaw tooth morphology of the night shark, Carcharhinus signatus, undergoes marked ontogenetic change, with symphyseal serrations increasing in both size and number relative to the commissural edge of each tooth. Similarly, placoid scale keel number increases with increasing total length. Since the eastern Atlantic Hypoprion bigelowi is differentiated from C. signatus on the basis of these two characters, H. bigelowi represents an ontogenetic stage, and therefore is a synonym of C. signatus. In the western North Atlantic, this species occurs commonly in the Florida Current and in the Gulf Stream off the east coast of the United States and may range as far north as the middle Atlantic Bight on the outer continental shelf during the warmer months. Fresh specimens for this study were caught near the surface at dawn and contained fish and cephalopod remains. Animal associates included Remora remora, Pandarus smithii and Aega sp. Anomalous dentition is noted in two of the specimens.

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