DNA evidence of the consumption of short-beaked common dolphin by the shortfin mako shark
Published online on 21.July 2015
DNA evidence of the consumption of short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis by the shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus
Sebastián Biton Porsmoguer, Daniela Banaru, Charles F. Boudouresque, Ivan Dekeyser, Amélia Viricel, Manuel Merchán
Stomachs of shortfin mako sharks Isurus oxyrinchus caught in the northeastern Atlantic by Iberian longliners were analyzed. A number of juveniles, 6 out of 96 individuals with non-empty stomachs, had consumed marine mammals. The remains (skin, fat, vertebrae and flesh with the dorsal fin) were not identifiable at species level by non-genetic methods. Portions of the mitochondrial DNA control region and of the gene coding for cytochrome b were therefore sequenced. Both the short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis and possibly the striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba were identified. Shortfin makos are able to consume marine mammals almost as large as themselves. Well-preserved D. delphis were juveniles.
Marine Ecology Progress Series 532:177-183, doi:10.3354/meps11327