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Diet, Feeding Habits and Estimates of Daily Ration of Young Lemon Sharks, Negaprion brevirostris (Poey)

Enric Cortés and Samuel H. Gruber
Copeia
Vol. 1990, No. 1 (Mar. 6, 1990), pp. 204-218
DOI: 10.2307/1445836
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1445836
Page Count: 15
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Diet, Feeding Habits and Estimates of Daily Ration of Young Lemon Sharks, Negaprion brevirostris (Poey)
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Abstract

The diet of a tropical elasmobranch, the lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, was investigated through analyses of stomach contents collected during two sampling periods. Data set 1 consisted of the stomach contents of 78 young and sub-adult specimens caught in the Florida Keys and at Bimini, Bahamas, from 1981-85. Data set 2 (n = 86) consisted of newborn and young specimens only, captured in the Florida Keys during the summer of 1986. In the two data sets teleosts were the dominant prey, followed by crustaceans and mollusks. Stomach contents from data set 2 were used to study food consumption parameters and estimate daily ration. About a quarter of the stomachs in each data set were empty. No pattern in diel feeding activity or differences in the amount of food consumed by males or females were found. Feeding in the population was asynchronous and intermittent, with a maximum duration in 11 h. Five methods were applied to determine daily ration. Three of these methods were based upon collection of data on stomach contents of sharks caught in the wild. The other two were laboratory-based approaches. Estimates of daily ration ranged from 1.5-2.1% of the shark's body weight.

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