With such diversity in the ocean, how do we differentiate and identify species? The identification of individual animals over temporal and spatial scales can provide wholistic estimates of population size and distribution. Fortunately nature gave us some easy ones... #WhaleSharks
(Rhincodon typus) have distinct characteristics (spot patterns) that remain stable over time and can be matched using photo-identification methods in multiple aggregation areas (Brooks, K. Pierce, S.J 2010). Identification of less obvious species can be difficult. Physical "field marks" are a useful tool: #GreatWhiteSharks
(Carcharodon carcharias) are characterised by their heavy spindle-shaped bodies, moderately long conical snout, flat, triangular, serrated blade-like teeth, large dorsal fin with the dorsal surface lead grey to blackish above, ventral surface of body white and iris of eye conspicuously black (Compagno, LJV 2001). Abnormalities to these characteristics can be used to identify individual #sharks.
A common form of shark species identification currently occurs in #fishmarkets.
Based on information from traders and morphological inspection, scientists hypothesise matches between market names and shark taxa for #sharkfins.
They test this theory using DNA based species identification techniques, which provides stochastic models to estimate the contribution of each taxon by weight to the #fintrade
(Clarke, SC. Jennifer, E 2006). #stopsharkfinsoup #stopsharkfinning #savesharks
Post by @saltybluegypsy.
Photos by @oceanicramsey @Juansharks @marina_oceanlove
featuring divers @seajewl @oceanicramsey
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