Comparative squamation of the lateral line canal pores in sharksPublished online on 21. March 2014
Comparative squamation of the lateral line canal pores in sharks
R. W. Mckenzie, P. J. Motta and J. R. Rohr
The current study collected the first quantitative data on lateral line pore squamation patterns in sharks and assessed whether divergent squamation patterns are similar to experimental models that cause reduction in boundary layer turbulence. In addition, the hypothesis that divergent orientation angles are exclusively found in fast-swimming shark species was tested. The posterior lateral line and supraorbital lateral line pore squamation of the fast-swimming pelagic shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus and the slow-swimming epi-benthic spiny dogfish shark Squalus acanthias was examined. Pore scale morphology and pore coverage were qualitatively analysed and compared. In addition, pore squamation orientation patterns were quantified for four regions along the posterior lateral line and compared for both species. Isurus oxyrinchus possessed consistent pore scale coverage among sampled regions and had a divergent squamation pattern with multiple scale rows directed dorsally and ventrally away from the anterior margin of the pore with an average divergent angle of 13° for the first row of scales. Squalus acanthias possessed variable amounts of scale coverage among the sampled regions and had a divergent squamation pattern with multiple scale rows directed ventrally away from the anterior margin of the pore with an average angle of 19° for the first row of scales. Overall, the squamation pattern measured in I. oxyrinchus fell within the parameters used in the fluid flow analysis, which suggests that this pattern may reduce boundary layer turbulence and affect lateral line sensitivity. The exclusively ventral oriented scale pattern seen in S. acanthias possessed a high degree of divergence but the pattern did not match that of the fluid flow models. Given current knowledge, it is unclear how this would affect boundary layer flow. By studying the relationship between squamation patterns and the lateral line, new insights are provided into sensory biology that warrant future investigation due to the implications for the ecology, morphology and sensory evolution of sharks.
Journal of Fish Biology. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12353