Satellite Tagging and Cardiac Physiology Reveal Niche Expansion in Salmon Sharks

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Science  07 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5745, pp. 104-106
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114616

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Shark populations are declining globally, yet the movements and habitats of most species are unknown. We used a satellite tag attached to the dorsal fin to track salmon sharks (Lamna ditropis) for up to 3.2 years. Here we show that salmon sharks have a subarctic-to-subtropical niche, ranging from 2° to 24°C, and they spend winter periods in waters as cold as 2° to 8°C. Functional assays and protein gels reveal that the expression of excitation-contraction coupling proteins is enhanced in salmon shark hearts, which may underlie the shark's ability to maintain heart function at cold temperatures and their niche expansion into subarctic seas.

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