Growth trajectories of prenatal embryos of the frilled shark

Published on
20. April 2020

Growth trajectories of prenatal embryos of the deep sea shark Chlamydoselachus anguineus (Chondrichthyes)

A. López‐Romero Faviel, Klimpfinger Claudia, Tanaka Sho, Kriwet Jürgen


Chlamydoselachus anguineus, Garman 1884, commonly called the frilled shark, is a deep sea shark species occurring up to depths of 1300 m. It is assumed to represent an ancient morphotype of sharks (e.g., terminal mouth opening, more than five gill slits) and thus is often considered to represent plesiomorphic traits for sharks. Therefore, its early ontogenetic developmental traits are important for understanding the evolution of its particular phenotype. Here, we established six stages for prenatal embryos and used linear measurements and geometric morphometrics to analyse changes in shape and size as well as their timing during different embryonic stages. Our results show a change in head shape and a relocation of the mouth opening at a late stage of development. We also detected a negative allometric growth of the head and especially the eye compared to the rest of the body and a sexual dimorphism in total body length, which differs from the known data for adults. A multivariate analysis of covariance shows a significant interaction of shape related to the logarithm of centroid size and developmental stage. Geometric morphometrics results indicate that the head shape changes as a covariate of body size while not accounting for differences between sexes. The growth pattern of stages 32 and 33 indicate a shift in head shape, thus highlighting the moment in development when the jaws start to elongate anteriorly to finally achieve the adult condition of terminal mouth opening rather than retaining the early embryonic subterminal position as it is typical for sharks. Thus, the antero‐terminal mouth opening of the frilled shark has to be considered a derived feature.

Journal of Fish Biology, DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14352


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