Showing posts from August, 2007

On the gestation period of the blackfin reef shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus in waters off Moorea, French Polynesia

Originally published in the Journal "Marine Biology" at:

Underwater visual and photographic observations, over a four year period, monitored the presence of mating wounds on femaleCarcharhinus melanopterus. Mating begins in November and continues until the end of March as each female follows her own temporal cycle. Correspondingly, parturition begins in September and continues until January. Each female again mates 1.5 to 2.5 months after parturition, thus completing an annual reproductive cycle. The gestation period is 286 to 305 days, with slight individual differences. All resident sharks under observation followed this pattern. Evidence of reproductive events presented by transient females conformed with the pattern of the residents.

The few studies postulating a gestation period for the reef blackfin shark Carcharhinus melanopterus have varied greatly in their conclusions. Based on an examination of embryo development, Melouk …