First study on age and growth of the deep-water Goblin Shark

Published on
04. February 2020

First study on age and growth of the deep-water Goblin Shark, Mitsukurina owstoni (Jordan, 1898)

Fabio P. Caltabellotta, Zachary A. Siders, Gregor Cailliet, Fabio S. Motta, Otto B. F. Gadig


Due to poorly mineralizing structures, ageing deep-water elasmobranchs requires nonconventional techniques. The aim of the present study was to develop a reliable ageing technique using the vertebral centrum to provide information about the age and growth parameters in the Goblin Shark, Mitsukurina owstoni (Jordan, 1898). One vertebral centrum from an individual measuring 315.2 cm in total length was analysed. A minimum age of 27 years was estimated. By incorporating priors based on the growth of deep-water sharks and an additional likelihood on L using data on large male Goblin Sharks, a Bayesian von Bertalanffy growth model was estimated with a male L of 364 cm total length, weigh 215 kg at L, grow slowly with a k equal to 0.049, mature at 16.5 years, and live up to 55 years. Our results are essential to provide useful life history information, with the aim of elucidating the cryptic ecology and biology of this deep-water shark.

bioRxiv: preprint, DOI 10.1101/2020.02.04.934281


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