Potamotrygon spp.: Elasmobranchs with Low Urea Content

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Science  20 Oct 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3799, pp. 375-377
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3799.375


All previously reported species of Chondrichthyes, from both marine and fresh water, have contained urea at concentrations ranging from about 300 to 1300 milligrams of urea nitrogen per 100 milliliters of fluid. Body fluids from two species of Potamotrygon, permanent residents of the Amazon basin, contained only 2 to 3 milligrams of urea nitrogen per 100 milliliters. Although they have abandoned the retention of urea exhibited by other chondrichthyans, the extent to which they have lost the mechanisms of retaining and tolerating urea in a hypertonic medium has not been determined.