Feeding Behavior of Subadult Sixgill Sharks at a Bait Station

paper8Published on 31. May 2016

Feeding Behavior of Subadult Sixgill Sharks (Hexanchus griseus) at a Bait Station

Bryan McNeil, Dayv Lowry, Shawn Larson, Denise Griffing


This is the first in-situ study of feeding behaviors exhibited by bluntnose sixgill sharks. Bait was placed beneath the Seattle Aquarium pier situated on the waterfront in Elliott Bay, Puget Sound, Washington at 20m of water depth. Cameras and lights were placed around the bait box to record sixgill shark presence and behavior while feeding. Analysis of feeding behavior revealed that sixgills utilize a bite comparable to many other elasmobranchs and aquatic vertebrates, have the ability to protrude their upper jaw, change their feeding behavior based on the situation, and employ sawing and lateral tearing during manipulation. The versatility of their feeding mechanism and the ability of sixgills to change their capture and food manipulation behaviors may have contributed to the species’ worldwide distribution and evolutionary success.

PLoS ONE 11(5): e0156730. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156730



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