Sika deer skull

86W_Cervus_nippon_vers1_30x24

Sika Deer | Cervus nippon

Sika Deer Info via Wikipedia:

Sika deer
Cervus nippon hortulorum qtl5.jpg
Male (stag)
Male sika breeding calls, UK
Juni 2012 Alte Fasanerie Sikahirsch-Kuh.JPG
Female (hind)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Cervus
Species: C. nippon
Binomial name
Cervus nippon
Temminck, 1838
Subspecies

See text

The sika deer (Cervus nippon) also known as the spotted deer or the Japanese deer, is a species of deer native to much of East Asia, and introduced to various other parts of the world. Previously found from northern Vietnam in the south to the Russian Far East in the north,[1] it is now uncommon in these areas, excluding Japan, where the species is overabundant.[2]

Etymology

Its name comes from shika (鹿), the Japanese word for "deer". In Japan the species is known as the nihonjika (ニホンジカ(日本鹿)?, lit. "Japan deer").

Taxonomy

The sika deer is a member of the genus Cervus, a group of deer also known as the "true deer".[citation needed] Formerly, sika were grouped together in this genus with nine other species. Now, only the sika and red deer remain, the latter being divided into three separate species: European red deer, central Asian red deer and American elk (though this remains controversial).[3]

Recent DNA evidence indicates these deer are not as closely related as previously thought, resulting in the creation of new species and genera. The genera Rucervus, Rusa, and Przewalskium are where most of the former Cervus species now belong. The ancestor of all Cervus species probably originated in central Asia and resembled sika deer.[4] All Cervus species can crossbreed and produce hybrids in areas where they coexist (for example, introduced sika hybridize with native red deer in the Scottish Highlands, where this is a serious threat to the gene pool of the red deer population).

Subspecies

Serious genetic pollution has occurred in many populations, especially in China. Therefore, the status of many subspecies remains unclear.[1] The status of C. n. hortulorum is particularly uncertain and might in fact be of mixed origin, hence it is not listed here.

Description

A Sika deer in Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan.

The sika deer is one of the few deer species that does not lose its spots upon reaching maturity. Spot patterns vary with region. The mainland subspecies have larger and more obvious spots, in contrast to the Taiwanese and Japanese subspecies, whose spots are nearly invisible. Many introduced populations are from Japan, so they also lack significant spots.

The color of the pelage ranges from mahogany to black, and white individuals are also known. During winter, the coat becomes darker and shaggier and the spots less prominent, and a mane forms on the back of the males' necks.[6] They are medium-sized herbivores, though they show notable size variation across their several subspecies and considerable sexual dimorphism, with males invariably much larger than females. They can vary from 50 to 110 cm (20 to 43 in) tall at the shoulder and from 95 to 180 cm (37 to 71 in) in head-and-body length. The tail measures about 7.5–13 cm (3.0–5.1 in) long.

The largest subspecies is the Manchurian sika deer (C. n. mantchuricus), in which males commonly weigh about 68–109 kg (150–240 lb) and females weigh 45–50 kg (99–110 lb), with large stags scaling up to 160 kg (350 lb). On the other end of the size spectrum, in the Japanese sika deer (C. n. nippon), males weigh 40–70 kg (88–154 lb) and females weigh 30–40 kg (66–88 lb).[7][8] All sikas are compact and dainty-legged, with short, trim, wedge-shaped heads and a boisterous disposition. When alarmed, they will often display a distinctive flared rump, much like the American elk.

Sika stags have stout, upright antlers with an extra buttress up from the brow tine and a very thick wall. A forward-facing intermediate tine breaks the line to the top, which is usually forked. Occasionally, sika antlers develop some palmation (flat areas). Females carry a pair of distinctive black bumps on the forehead. Antlers can range from 28 to 45 centimetres (11 to 18 in) to more than 80 centimetres (30 in), depending on the subspecies. Stags also have distinctive manes during the rut.

Behavior

The sika deer can be active throughout the day, though in areas with heavy human disturbance, they tend to be nocturnal. Seasonal migration is known to occur in mountainous areas, such as Japan, with winter ranges being up to 700 metres (2,300 ft) lower in elevation than summer ranges.[6]

Lifestyles vary between individuals, with some occurring alone while others are found in single-sex groups. Large herds will gather in autumn and winter. The sika deer is a highly vocal species, with over 10 individual sounds, ranging from soft whistles to loud screams.

A male Sika Deer calling, recorded at Wareham, Dorset, England, October 1964.

Sika males are territorial and keep harems of females during the rut, which peaks from early September through October, but may last well into the winter months. Territory size varies with habitat type and size of the buck; strong, prime bucks may hold up to 2 hectares (5 acres). Territories are marked with a series of shallow pits or "scrapes", into which the males urinate and from which emanates a strong, musky odor. Fights between rival males are sometimes fierce and long, and may even be fatal.

The gestation period lasts for 7 months. Hinds give birth to a single fawn, weighing 4.5 to 7 kilograms (9.9 to 15.4 lb), which is nursed for up to 10 months. The fawn becomes independent 10 to 12 months after birth, and attains sexual maturity at 16 to 18 months in both sexes.[9]

The sika deer may interbreed with the red deer; hybrid descendants may have adaptive advantages over purebred relatives.[9]

The average lifespan is 15 to 18 years in captivity, although one case is recorded as living 25 years and 5 months.[9]

In Nara Prefecture, Japan, the deer are also known as "bowing deer", as they bow their heads before being fed special shika senbei (鹿せんべい?, called "deer cookies"). However, deer bow heads to signal that they are about to headbutt. Therefore, when a human 'bows' to a deer, the deer will assume the same stance and may charge and injure the human. Deer headbutt both for play and to assert dominance, as do goats. Sika deer are found throughout the city of Nara and its many parks and temples like Tōdai-ji, as they are considered to be the messengers of the Shinto gods.[citation needed]

Habitat

Sika deer are found in the temperate and subtropical forests of eastern Asia, preferring areas with dense understory, and where snowfall does not exceed 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in). They tend to forage in patchy clearings of forests. Introduced populations are found in areas with similar habitats to their native ranges, including Western and Central Europe, Eastern United States, and New Zealand.

Population

The sika deer inhabits temperate and subtropical woodlands, which often occupy areas suitable for farming and other human exploitation. Its range encompasses some of the most densely populated areas in the world, where forests were cleared hundreds of years ago. Their population status varies significantly in different countries. Although the species as a whole is thriving, it is endangered and extinct in many areas.

Japan has by far the largest native sika population in the world. Though the exact population is uncertain, it is likely to be in the hundred thousand range and is still increasing,[citation needed] mainly due to recent conservation efforts and the extinction of its main predator, the wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax), over a century ago. Without its main enemy, the population of sika exploded and it is now overpopulated in many areas, posing a threat to both forests and farmlands. Efforts are now being made to control its population instead of conserving it. None of its subspecies is endangered except the Kerama deer (C. n. keramae) in the tiny Kerama Islands.[2] In 2015, Japanese Ministry of the Environment estimated the population at 3,080,000 in Japan, including Hokkaido.[10]

China used to have the largest population of sika, but thousands of years of hunting and habitat loss have reduced the population to less than 1,000. Of the five subspecies in China, the North China sika deer (C. n. mandarinus) is believed to be extinct in the wild since the 1930s; the Shanxi sika deer (C. n. grassianus) has not been seen in the wild since the 1980s and is also believed to be extinct in the wild. The status of Manchurian sika deer in China is unclear, though it is believed to be extinct, as well, and the sightings there are actually feral populations.

The South China sika deer (C. n. kopschi) and Sichuan sika deer (C. n. sichuanicus) are the only remaining subspecies in the wild. The former exists in fragmented populations of around 300 in southeast China, while the latter is found in a single population of over 400. The feral population is likely to be much higher than the wild, though most of them are descended from domesticated sikas of mixed subspecies. All of the subspecies are present in captivity, but a lack of suitable habitats and government efforts prevent their reintroduction.

The Formosan sika deer (C. n. taioanus) has been extinct for almost two decades before individuals from zoos were introduced to Kenting National Park; the population now numbers 200. Reintroduction programs are also under way in Vietnam, where the Vietnamese sika deer (C. n. pseudaxis) is extinct or nearly so.

Russia has a relatively large and stable population of 9,000 individuals of the Manchurian subspecies, but this is limited to a small area in Primorsky Krai. Small populations might exist in North Korea, but the political situation makes investigation impossible. The species is extinct in South Korea, with no plans for reintroduction.

Introduced populations

A Sika deer outside of a store on the island of Miyajima.

Sika deer have been introduced into a number of other countries, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Romania, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines (Jolo Island), Poland, Sweden, Finland, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Maryland, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, Wyoming, Washington, and Kansas).[11] In many cases, they were originally introduced as ornamental animals in parklands, but have established themselves in the wild. On Spieden Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington, they were introduced as a game animal.

In the UK and Ireland, several distinct feral populations now exist.[12] Some of these are in isolated areas, for example on the island of Lundy, but others are contiguous with populations of the native red deer. Since the two species sometimes hybridise, there is a serious conservation concern.[13] In research which rated the negative impact of introduced mammals in Europe, the sika deer was found to be among the most damaging to the environment and economy, along with the brown rat and muskrat.[14]

In the 1900s, King Edward VII presented a pair of sika deer to John, the second Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. This pair escaped into Sowley Wood and were the basis of the sika to be found in the New Forest today.[citation needed] They were so prolific, culling had to be introduced in the 1930s to control their numbers.[15]

Hunting

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi Ukiyo-e depicting the Minamoto no Tsunemoto hunting a sika with a yumi.

Across its original range and in many areas to which it has been introduced, the sika is regarded as a particularly prized and elusive sportsman's quarry. In Britain, Ireland, and mainland Europe, sika display very different survival strategies and escape tactics from the indigenous deer. They have a marked tendency to use concealment in circumstances when red deer, for example, would flee, and have been seen to squat and lie belly-flat when danger threatens.

Hunters and control cullers have estimated that the sika's wariness and "cleverness" makes it three or four times more difficult to bring to bag than a red or fallow deer.[citation needed] In the British Isles, sika are widely regarded as a serious threat to new and established woodlands, and public and private forestry bodies adopt policies of rigorous year-round culling.[16]

The main predator of sika deer include tiger and wolves[9], leopard, brown bear. Lynx and golden eagle targeted fawn.

Velvet antler

A tame deer wandering the streets of Miyajima, Japan.

Velvet antler (dried immature antlers) is a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, and sika in China were domesticated long ago for the antler trade, along with several other species. In Taiwan, both Formosan sika deer and Formosan sambar deer (Cervus unicolor swinhoei) have been farmed for velvet antlers. Japan is the only country in eastern Asia where sika deer were not farmed for velvet antlers.

Other deer raised for the antler trade were Thorold's deer (Cervus albirostris), central Asian red deer (Cervus affinis) and American elk (Cervus canadensis).

References

  1. ^ a b c Harris, R.B. (2008). "Cervus nippon". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 April 2009.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ a b Kaji, Koichi; Takashi Saitoh; Hiroyuki Uno; Hiroyuki Matsuda; Kohji Yamamura. "Adaptive management of sika deer populations in Hokkaido, Japan: theory and practice" (PDF). Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Ludt, Christian J.; Wolf Schroeder; Oswald Rottmann; Ralph Kuehn. "Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of red deer (Cervus elaphus)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31 (2004) 1064–1083. Elsevier. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2004. Retrieved 6 October 2006. 
  4. ^ Geist, Valerius (1998). Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology. Mechanicsburg, Pa: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-0496-3. 
  5. ^ "ITIS Standard Report Page: Cervus nippon soloensis". Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Ultimate Ungulate Fact Sheet – Sika Deer". [full citation needed]
  7. ^ Sika Deer. Bds.org.uk. Retrieved on 2012-08-23.
  8. ^ Nowak, R. M. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Fifth Edition. Volume Two. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  9. ^ a b c d Landesman, N. "Cervus nippon". University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Animal Diversity Web. 
  10. ^ "環境省_(お知らせ)改正鳥獣法に基づく指定管理鳥獣捕獲等事業の推進に向けたニホンジカ及びイノシシの生息状況等緊急調査事業の結果について". Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Sika Deer - North America Introduced - Big Game Hunting Records - Safari Club International Online Record Book". Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  12. ^ https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxndWlkZXRvc3BoYWdudW18Z3g6NjA0ZDIzYmYwNWRmZDAwYw
  13. ^ "Cross-breeding 'threat' to deer". BBC. 22 January 2009. 
  14. ^ Rats top invasive mammals table. BBC. 7 May 2010.
  15. ^ "British Mammals: Sika Deer". BBC. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 
  16. ^ http://www.nonnativespecies.org/downloadDocument.cfm?id=355
  • "Cervus nippon". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 10 February 2006. 
  • Igota, H., Sakagura, M., Uno, H., Kaji, K., Maneko, M., Akamatsu, R., & Maekawa, (in press). Seasonal patterns of female sika deer in eastern Hokkaidō, Japan. Ecological Research, 19.

Further reading

O'Brien, D.J., Rooney, S.M. and Hayden, T.J. 2009. A differential vulnerability to hunting between the sexes in Sika-type calves. I. Nat. J. 30: 7- 9.

External links

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sika_deer

Bull Shark Skull

92W_Carcharhinus_leucas_vers1_24x20

 

Bull Shark | Carcharhinus leucas

Bull Shark info via Wikipedia:

Bull shark
Bullshark Beqa Fiji 2007.jpg
Carcharhinus leucas TPWD.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Carcharhinidae
Genus: Carcharhinus
Species: C. leucas
Binomial name
Carcharhinus leucas
(J. P. Müller and Henle, 1839)
Cypron-Range Carcharhinus leucas.svg
Range of bull shark

The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), also known as the Zambezi shark or, unofficially, as Zambi in Africa and Nicaragua shark in Nicaragua, is a requiem shark commonly found worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers. The bull shark is known for its aggressive nature, predilection for warm shallow water, and presence in brackish and freshwater systems including estuaries and rivers.

Bull sharks can thrive in both salt and fresh water and can travel far up rivers. They have been known to travel up the Mississippi River as far as Illinois,[2] although few freshwater human-shark interactions have been recorded. They are probably responsible for the majority of near-shore shark attacks, including many bites attributed to other species.[3]

Unlike the river sharks of the genus Glyphis, bull sharks are not true freshwater sharks, despite their ability to survive in freshwater habitats.

Etymology

The name "bull shark" comes from the shark's stocky shape, broad, flat snout, and aggressive, unpredictable behavior.[4] In India, the bull shark may be confused with the Sundarbans or Ganges shark. In Africa, it is also commonly called the Zambezi River shark or just Zambi. Its wide range and diverse habitats result in many other local names, including Ganges River shark, Fitzroy Creek whaler, van Rooyen's shark, Lake Nicaragua shark,[5] river shark, freshwater whaler, estuary whaler, Swan River whaler,[6] cub shark, and shovelnose shark.[7]

Evolution

Some of the bull sharks's closest living relatives do not have the capabilities of osmoregulation. Its genus, Carcharhinus, also includes the sandbar shark, which is not capable of osmoregulation.[8]

The bull shark shares numerous similarities with river sharks of the genus Glyphis, and other species in the genus Carcharhinus, but its phylogeny has not been cleared yet.[9]

Anatomy and appearance

Bull sharks are large and stout, with females being larger than males. The bull shark can be up to 81 cm (2.66 ft) in length at birth.[10] Adult female bull sharks average 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long and typically weigh 130 kg (290 lb), whereas the slightly smaller adult male averages 2.25 m (7.4 ft) and 95 kg (209 lb). While a maximum size of 3.5 m (11 ft) is commonly reported, a single record exists of a female specimen of exactly 4.0 m (13.1 ft). The maximum recorded weight of a bull shark was 315 kg (694 lb), but may be larger.[3][11][12] Bull sharks are wider and heavier than other requiem sharks of comparable length, and are grey on top and white below. The second dorsal fin is smaller than the first. The bull shark's caudal fin is longer and lower than that of the larger sharks, and it has a small snout, and lacks an interdorsal ridge.[10]

Bull sharks have a bite force up to 5,914 newtons (1,330 lbf), weight for weight the highest among all investigated cartilaginous fishes.[13]

Distribution and habitat

The bull shark is commonly found worldwide in coastal areas of warm oceans, in rivers and lakes, and occasionally salt and freshwater streams if they are deep enough. It is found to a depth of 150 m (490 ft), but does not usually swim deeper than 30 m (98 ft).[14] In the Atlantic, it is found from Massachusetts to southern Brazil, and from Morocco to Angola. In the Indian Ocean, it is found from South Africa to Kenya, India,Vietnam, Philippines to Australia.[citation needed]

Populations of bull sharks are also found in several major rivers, with more than 500 bull sharks thought to be living in the Brisbane River. One was reportedly seen swimming the flooded streets of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, during the 2010-11 Queensland floods.[15] Several were sighted in one of the main streets of Goodna, Queensland, shortly after the peak of the January 2011, floods.[16] A large bull shark was caught in the canals of Scarborough, just north of Brisbane within Moreton Bay. Still greater numbers are in the canals of the Gold Coast, Queensland.[17] In the Pacific Ocean, it can be found from Baja California to Ecuador. The bull shark has traveled 4,000 km (2,500 mi) up the Amazon River to Iquitos in Peru[18] and north Bolivia.[1] It also lives in freshwater Lake Nicaragua, in the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers of West Bengal, and Assam in Eastern India and adjoining Bangladesh.[citation needed] It can live in water with a high salt content as in St. Lucia Estuary in South Africa. Bull sharks have been recorded in the Tigris River since at least 1924 as far upriver as Baghdad.[19] The bull shark is generally prolific in the warm, coastal waters and estuarine systems of the Mozambique Channel and southward, including Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mozambique.[citation needed] The species has a distinct preference for warm currents.[citation needed]

After Hurricane Katrina, many bull sharks were sighted in Lake Pontchartrain.[20] Bull sharks have occasionally gone up the Mississippi River as far upstream as Alton, Illinois,[21] and up the Ohio River as far as Manchester, Ohio.[22] They have also been found in the Potomac River in Maryland.[23][24] A golf course lake in Queensland, Australia is the home to several bull sharks. They are believed to have become trapped following a flood in the 1990s. The golf course has capitalized on the novelty and now hosts a monthly tournament called the "Shark Lake Challenge".[25]

Behavior

Freshwater tolerance

The bull shark is the best known of 43 species of elasmobranch in 10 genera and four families to have been reported in fresh water.[26] Other species that enter rivers include the stingrays (Dasyatidae, Potamotrygonidae and others) and sawfish (Pristidae). Some skates (Rajidae), smooth dogfishes (Triakidae), and sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus) regularly enter estuaries.[citation needed]

The bull shark is diadromous, meaning they can swim between salt and fresh water with ease.[27] These fish also are euryhaline fish, able to adapt to a wide range of salinities. The bull shark is one of the few cartilaginous fishes that have been reported in freshwater systems. Many of the euryhaline fish are bony fish such as salmon and tilapia and are not closely related to bull sharks. Evolutionary assumptions can be made to help explain this sort of evolutionary disconnect, one being that the bull shark encountered a population bottleneck that occurred during the last ice age.[28] This bottleneck may have separated the bull shark from the rest of the Elasmobranchii subclass and favored the genes for an osmoregulatory system.

Elasmobranchs' ability to enter fresh water is limited because their blood is normally at least as salty (in terms of osmotic strength) as seawater through the accumulation of urea and trimethylamine oxide, but bull sharks living in fresh water show a significantly reduced concentration of urea within their blood.[29] Despite this, the solute composition (i.e. osmolarity) of a bull shark in fresh water is still much higher than that of the external environment. This results in a large influx of water across the gills due to osmosis and loss of sodium and chloride from the shark's body. However, bull sharks in fresh water possess several organs with which to maintain appropriate salt and water balance; these are the rectal gland, kidneys, liver, and gills. All elasmobranchs have a rectal gland which functions in the excretion of excess salts accumulated as a consequence of living in seawater. Bull sharks in freshwater environments decrease the salt-excretory activity of the rectal gland, thereby conserving sodium and chloride.[30] The kidneys produce large amounts of dilute urine, but also play an important role in the active reabsorption of solutes into the blood.[30] The gills of bull sharks are likely to be involved in the uptake of sodium and chloride from the surrounding fresh water,[31] whereas urea is produced in the liver as required with changes in environmental salinity.[32] Recent work also shows that the differences in density of fresh water to that of marine waters result in significantly greater negative buoyancies in sharks occupying fresh water, resulting in increasing costs of living in fresh water. Bull sharks caught in freshwater have subsequently been shown to have lower liver densities than sharks living in marine waters. This may reduce the added cost of greater negative buoyancy.[33]

Bull sharks are able to regulate themselves to live in either fresh or salt water. It can live in fresh water for its entire life, but this does not happen, mostly due to reproduction. Young bull sharks leave the brackish water in which they are born and move out into the sea to breed. While theoretically, bull sharks to live in purely fresh water may be possible, the bull sharks that were being experimented on had died within four years. The stomach was opened and all that was found were two small, unidentifiable fishes. The cause of death could have been starvation since the primary food source for bull sharks resides in salt water.[34]

In a research experiment, the bull sharks were found to be at the mouth of an estuary for the majority of the time.[27] They stayed at the mouth of the river independent of the salinity of the water. The driving factor for a bull shark to be in fresh or salt water, however, is its age; as the bull shark ages, its tolerance for very low or high salinity increases.[27] The majority of the newborn or very young bull sharks were found in the freshwater area, whereas the much older bull sharks were found to be in the saltwater areas, as they had developed a much better tolerance for the salinity.[27] Reproduction is one of the reasons why adult bull sharks travel into the river—it is thought to be a physiological strategy to improve juvenile survival and a way to increase overall fitness of bull sharks.[27] The young are not born with a high tolerance for high salinity, so they are born in fresh water and stay there until they are able to travel out.

Initially, scientists thought the sharks in Lake Nicaragua belonged to an endemic species, the Lake Nicaragua shark (Carcharhinus nicaraguensis). In 1961, following specimen comparisons, taxonomists synonymized them.[35] They can jump along the rapids of the San Juan River (which connects Lake Nicaragua and the Caribbean Sea), almost like salmon.[14] Bull sharks tagged inside the lake have later been caught in the open ocean (and vice versa), with some taking as few as seven to 11 days to complete the journey.[35]

Diet

The bull shark's diet consists mainly of bony fish and small sharks, including other bull sharks,[3] but can also include turtles, birds, dolphins, terrestrial mammals, crustaceans, echinoderms, and stingrays. They hunt in murky waters where it is harder for the prey to see the shark coming.[1][36][37] Bull sharks have been known to use the bump-and-bite technique to attack their prey. After the first initial contact, they continue to bite and tackle prey until they are unable to flee.[38]

The bull shark is known to be a solitary hunter, although brief moments exist in which the bull shark teams up with another bull shark to make hunting and to tricking prey easier.[39][40]

Sharks are known to be opportunistic feeders,[38] and the bull shark is no exception to this, as it is part of the Carcharhinus family of sharks. Normally, sharks eat in short bursts, and when food is scarce, sharks digest for a much longer period of time in order to avoid starvation.[38] As part of their survival mechanism, bull sharks will regurgitate the food in their stomachs in order to escape from a predator. This is a distraction tactic; if the predator moves to eat the regurgitated food the bull shark can use the opportunity to escape.[41]

Reproduction

Bull sharks mate during late summer and early autumn,[8] often in the brackish water of river mouths. After gestating for 12 months, a bull shark may give birth to four to 10 live young.[8] They are viviparous, born live and free-swimming. The young are about 70 cm (27.6 in) at birth and take 10 years to reach maturity. Coastal lagoons, river mouths, and other low-salinity estuaries are common nursery habitats.[3]

The size of a fully matured female bull shark to produce viable eggs for fertilization seems to be 175 cm to 235 cm. The courting routine between bull sharks has not been observed in detail as of yet. The male likely bites the female on the tail until she can turn upside down and the male can copulate at that point. At some points, the harassment of the male can become violent. Seeing scratches and other marks on a mature female from the mating ritual is not uncommon.[42]

Bull sharks have an unusual migratory pattern in comparison to other sharks. They are found in rivers all over the world. They give birth in the fresh water of rivers. The young bull sharks are free from predators while they grow up in the river before they go out to the sea to find mates.[43]

The ability to be able to survive in both fresh and salt water also gives another benefit that has been driven by evolution. Because the majority of sharks are only able to survive in salt water, the bull shark has evolved to have their offspring in the fresh water where other sharks cannot enter.[44] The freshwater acts as a protective area where the young are able to grow and mature without the threat of larger sharks preying on the younger bull sharks.[44] This is an explanation for the behavior that is observed from the Bull sharks as to why there would be any reason for the adult bull shark to ever travel into a freshwater area despite being able to tolerate the high salinity of marine water.

Bull sharks are born alive in freshwater. The size range of a litter for a female bull shark is around 1 to 13 pups.[45] The average time span for a female bull shark to be pregnant is around 10 to 11 months.[46] The male bull shark is able to begin reproducing around the age of 15 years while the female cannot begin reproducing until the age of 18 years.[46] Unlike most sharks though, the bull shark does not rear its young like other sharks, the young bull sharks are born into flat, protected areas.[46] Freshwater presents a natural defense against most larger predators, and the flat land is an added defense as most large predators will not swim in shallow areas. This increases their chance of survival since the parents do not rear the young in the traditional manner. This is also the reason why there is a high mortality rate in young bull sharks. Since the parents do not rear and protect the young, any predator that is able to attack a young bull shark is easily able to kill and eat the young bull shark without much resistance.[47]

Interactions with humans

Photo of bull shark in shallow water
Bull shark (Bahamas)

Since bull sharks often dwell in very shallow waters, are found in many types of habitats, and have virtually no tolerance for provocation, they may be more dangerous to humans than any other species of shark,[14] and along with the Tiger shark and great white shark, are among the three shark species most likely to bite humans.[4]

One or several bull sharks may have been responsible for the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, which were the inspiration for Peter Benchley's novel Jaws.[48] The speculation of bull sharks possibly being responsible is based on two fatal bites occurring in brackish and fresh water.

The bull shark is responsible for biting swimmers around the Sydney Harbour inlets.[49] Most of these bites were previously attributed to Great White sharks. In India, bull sharks swim up the Ganges River and have bitten bathers. Many of these bite incidents were attributed to the Ganges shark, Glyphis gangeticus, a critically endangered river shark species, although the Sand Tiger shark was also blamed during the 1960s and 1970s.

The bull shark prefers coastal water which is less than 100 feet in depth. This is mostly due to their feeding patterns, since they prefer murky waters. This is also a problem since this gives the most interaction with humans. It is known that bull sharks inhabit areas off the coast of Florida, and there have been reports of bull sharks getting close enough to the coast to bite humans since the bull shark is a territorial animal, which encourages aggressive behavior.[50]

Visual cues

Behavioral studies have confirmed that sharks can take visual cues in order to discriminate between different objects.[43] The bull shark is able to discriminate between colors of mesh netting that is present underwater.[43] It was found that bull sharks tended to avoid mesh netting of bright colors rather than colors that blended in with the water. Bright yellow mesh netting was found to be easily avoided when it was placed in the path of the bull shark. This was found to be the reason that sharks are attracted to bright yellow survival gear rather than ones that were painted black.[43] This is very important because it gives an insight into how bull sharks are able to pick up certain visual keys underwater that might give them an advantage when seeking out certain prey.

Energy conservation

In 2008, researchers tagged and recorded the movements of young bull sharks in the Caloosahatchee River estuary. Specifically, they were testing to find out what determined the movement of the young bull sharks.[51] It was found that the young bull sharks synchronously moved downriver when the environmental conditions changed.[51] This large movement of young bull sharks were found to be moving as a response rather than other external factors such as predators. An interesting find was that the movement was directly related to the bull shark conserving energy for itself. One way the bull shark is able to conserve energy is that when the tidal flow changes, the bull shark uses the tidal flow in order to conserve energy as it moves downriver.[51] Another way for the bull shark to conserve energy is to decrease the amount of energy needed to osmoregulate the surrounding environment.[51]

Ecology

Bull sharks are apex predators and seldom have to fear being attacked by other animals. Humans are their biggest threat. Larger sharks, such as the tiger shark and great white shark, may attack them.[3] Crocodiles may be a threat to bull sharks in rivers. Saltwater crocodiles have been observed preying on bull sharks in the rivers and estuaries of Northern Australia,[52] and a Nile crocodile was reported as consuming a bull shark in South Africa.[53]

References

  1. ^ a b c Simpfendorfer, C. & Burgess, G.H. (2005). "Carcharhinus leucas". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Sharks In Illinois. In-Fisherman (16 July 2012). Retrieved on 30 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bull shark". Florida Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 8 September 2006. 
  4. ^ a b "Bull shark". National Geographic. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Biology of Sharks and Rays". ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  6. ^ McGrouther, Mark (12 May 2010). "Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas Valenciennes, 1839 – Australian Museum". Australian Museum. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  7. ^ Allen, Thomas B. (1999). The Shark Almanac. New York: The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-55821-582-4. 
  8. ^ a b c McAuley, R. B.; Simpfendorfer, C. A.; Hyndes, G. A. & Lenanton, R. C. J. (2007). "Distribution and reproductive biology of the sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo), in Western Australian waters". Marine and Freshwater Research. 58 (1): 116–126. doi:10.1071/MF05234. The proportion of mature males with running spermatozoa increased from 7.1% in October to 79 and 80% in January and March, respectively, suggesting that mating activity peaks during late summer and early autumn. 
  9. ^ Fowler, S.; Reed, T.; Dipper, F. (1997). Elasmobranch biodiversity, conservation, and management: Proceedings of the international seminar and workshop. Gland Switzerland: IUCN. 
  10. ^ a b "Shark Species; Bull Sharks". Shark Diver Magazine. 17: 34. 2003. 
  11. ^ "The Biggest Bull Shark…Ever?". The Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. 2012-07-18. 
  12. ^ "9 Biggest Sharks Ever Caught". Total Pro Sports.com. 
  13. ^ Habegger, M. L.; Motta, P. J.; Huber, D. R.; Dean, M. N. (2012). "Feeding biomechanics and theoretical calculations of bite force in bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) during ontogeny". Zoology. 115 (6): 354–364. doi:10.1016/j.zool.2012.04.007. ; for a popular summary, see Walker, Matt (12 October 2012). "Bull sharks have strongest bite of all shark species". BBC News. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c Crist, Rick. "Carcharhinus leucas". University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 8 September 2006. 
  15. ^ "Queensland rebuilding 'huge task'". BBC News. 12 January 2011. 
  16. ^ Bull sharks seen in flooded streets | Offbeat | Weird News, Odd and Freaky Stories in Northern Rivers | Clarence Valley Daily Examiner. Dailyexaminer.com.au (14 January 2011). Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  17. ^ Berrett, Nick (14 November 2008). "Canal shark shock". Redcliffe & Bayside Herald. Quest Community Newspapers. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  18. ^ Shark Gallery. Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). sharks-med.netfirms.com
  19. ^ Coad, B. W. (2015). Review of the Freshwater Sharks of Iran (Family Carcharhinidae). International Journal of Aquatic Biology3(4), 218.
  20. ^ High number of sharks reported in Lake Pontchartrain. wwltv.com. 16 September 2006
  21. ^ "Sharks in Illinois". In-Fisherman. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  22. ^ "Bull Shark found in Ohio River". inquisitr.com. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  23. ^ 8-Foot Shark Caught In Potomac River. Nbcwashington.com. Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  24. ^ Zauzmer, Julie (22 August 2013). "Man catches 2 Bull sharks in Potomac". Washington Post. 
  25. ^ "Shark-Infested Australian Golf Course Believed to Be World's First". Fox News. 11 October 2011. 
  26. ^ Compagno, Leonard I.V. & Cook, Sid F. (March 1995). "Freshwater elasmobranchs; a questionable future". Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  27. ^ a b c d e Heupel, Michelle R.; Colin A. Simpfendorfer (2008). "Movement and distribution of young bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas in a variable estuarine environment" (PDF). Aquatic Biology. 1: 277–289. doi:10.3354/ab00030. 
  28. ^ Tillett B., Meekan; M., Field; I., Thornburn; D., Ovenden, J. (2012). "Evidence for reproductive philopatry in the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas". Journal of Fish Biology. 80 (6): 2140–2158. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2012.03228.x. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ Pillans, R.D.; Franklin, C.E. (2004). "Plasma osmolyte concentrations and rectal gland mass of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas, captured along a salinity gradient". Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. 138 (3): 363–371. PMID 15313492. doi:10.1016/j.cbpb.2004.05.006. 
  30. ^ a b Pillans, R.D.; Good, J.P.; Anderson, W.G.; Hazon, N & Franklin, C.E. (2005). "Freshwater to seawater acclimation of juvenile bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas): plasma osmolytes and Na+/K+-ATPase activity in gill, rectal gland, kidney and intestine" (PDF). Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 175 (1): 37–44. PMID 15565307. doi:10.1007/s00360-004-0460-2. 
  31. ^ Reilly, B.D.; Cramp, R.L.; Wilson, J.M.; Campbell, H.A & Franklin, C.E. (2011). "Branchial osmoregulation in the euryhaline bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas: a molecular analysis of ion transporters". Journal of Experimental Biology. 214 (17): 2883–2895. PMID 21832131. doi:10.1242/jeb.058156. 
  32. ^ Anderson, W.G.; Good, J.P.; Pillans, R.D.; Hazon, N & Franklin, C.E. (2005). "Hepatic urea biosynthesis in the euryhaline elasmobranch Carcharhinus leucas". Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Comparative Experimental Biology. 303A (10): 917–921. PMID 16161010. doi:10.1002/jez.a.199. 
  33. ^ Gleiss, A. C.; Potvin, J.; Keleher, J. J.; Whitty, J. M.; Morgan, D. L.; Goldbogen, J. A. (2015). "Mechanical challenges to freshwater residency in sharks and rays". Journal of Experimental Biology. 218 (7): 1099–1110. PMID 25573824. doi:10.1242/jeb.114868. 
  34. ^ Montoya, Rafael Vasquez; Thorson, Thomas B. (1982). "The bull shark and largetooth sawfish in Lake Bayano, a tropical man-made impoundment in Panama". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 7 (4): 341–347. doi:10.1007/BF00005568. 
  35. ^ a b Fresh Waters: Unexpected Haunts. elasmo-research.org. Accessed 6 April 2008.
  36. ^ Kindersley, Dorling (2001) in Animal, David Burnie and Don E. Wilson (eds.) London & New York: Smithsonian Institution, ISBN 0789477645.
  37. ^ Snelson, Franklin F; Mulligan, Timothy J; Williams, Sherry E. (1 January 1984). "Food Habits, Occurrence, and Population Structure of the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, in Florida Coastal Lagoons". Bulletin of Marine Science. 1: 71–80. 
  38. ^ a b c Motta, Philip J; Wilga, Cheryl D. (2001). "Advances in the study of feeding behaviors, mechanisms, and mechanics or sharks". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 60 (1): 131–156. doi:10.1023/A:1007649900712. 
  39. ^ Bull Sharks, Carcharhinus leucas. Marinebio.org (14 January 2013). Retrieved on 30 November 2013.
  40. ^ Life of Bull Shark | Life of Sea. Life-sea.blogspot.com (15 November 2011).
  41. ^ Tuma, Robert E. (1976). "Reproduction of the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, in the Lake Nicaragua-Rio San Juan System". In Thorson, Thomas B. Investigation of the Icthyofauna of Nicaraguan Lakes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. 
  42. ^ Jenson, Norman H. (1976). "Reproduction of the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, in the Lake Nicaragua-Rio San Juan System". In Thorson, Thomas B. Investigation of the Icthyofauna of Nicaraguan Lakes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. 
  43. ^ a b c d Bres, M (1993). "The behaviour of sharks" (PDF). Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. 3 (2): 133–159. doi:10.1007/BF00045229. 
  44. ^ a b Heupel, Michelle R.; Carlson, John K. & Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (14 May 2007). "Shark nursery areas: concepts, definition characterization and assumptions" (PDF). Marine Ecology Progress Series. 337: 289–297. doi:10.3354/meps337287. 
  45. ^ Pacific Shark Research Center » Featured Elasmobranch – Bull Shark. Psrc.mlml.calstate.edu (16 February 2009). Retrieved on 30 November 2013.
  46. ^ a b c Fact Sheet: Bull Sharks. Sharkinfo.ch (15 October 1999). Retrieved on 30 November 2013.
  47. ^ Bull Shark – Animal Facts and Information. Bioexpedition.com. Retrieved on 30 November 2013.
  48. ^ Handwerk, Brian. "Great Whites May Be Taking the Rap for Bull Shark Attacks". National Geographic News. Retrieved 1 February 2007. 
  49. ^ Quinn, Ben (15 March 2009). "Shark attacks bring panic to Sydney's shore". The Guardian. London. 
  50. ^ Frantz, Vickie (18 July 2011). "Bull Sharks Attacks Comonly in Warm, Shallow Waters". accuweather. 
  51. ^ a b c d Ortega, Lori A.; Heupel, Michelle R.; van Beynen, Philip & Motta, Philip J. (2009). "Movement patterns and water quality preferences of juvenile bull sharks (Carcharhinus lecuas) in a Florida estuary". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 84 (4): 361–373. doi:10.1007/s10641-009-9442-2. 
  52. ^ "No Bull: Saltwater Crocodile Eats Shark". UnderwaterTimes.com. 13 August 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  53. ^ "FLMNH Ichthyology Department: Bull Shark". www.flmnh.ufl.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 

Sources

External links

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_shark
Page 1 of 11
Copyright © 2013 inkedanimal.com all rights reserved
Facebook Icon