Paige Sakowski Lamniformes (Greek lamna

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Paige Sakowski
Lamniformes (Greek lamna- (shark) and –forma (shape))
Taxonomy:
Superclass Gnathastomata- jawed vertebrates
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Lamniformes- Mackerel Sharks
Families Lamnidae
7 genera, ~ 16 species
Common species: Carcharodon carcharias– Great White Shark
Alopias vulpinus– Thresher Shark
Cetorhinus maximus – Basking Shark
Description: Moderate to very large, ranging from about 3.3 ft to 49 ft in length; have two
dorsal fins, large pectoral fins, a small anal fin, and a lunate or semilunate caudal fin;
black and round eyes that lack protective membranes; five pairs of gill openings; very
small denticles along the body that do not form larger spines. Some lamniform species
are capable of maintaining slightly elevated body temperatures in relation to the
surrounding water, through a counter-current, vascular heat exchange system.
Lamniforms are usually blue or blue-gray on their dorsal and lateral sides, but white to
off-white ventrally.
Habitat: present in shallow, coastal waters, as well as epipelagically and mesopelagically
in deeper oceanic waters.
Distribution: found worldwide in tropical and temperate marine waters.
Ecology and life history: Most lamniformes are predaceous, extremely active eaters,
feeding mostly on fishes of many families. Although, lamniformes also feed on large
amounts of invertebrate, marine mammals, marine turtles, and some oceanic birds. Two
species, the megamouth and basking sharks, feed almost exclusively on zooplankton,
through filter feeding.
Additional details: Many lamniformes are captured on longlines or trawls, either by
accident or by the commercial fishing industry to be consumed. Sport fishing for several
species is also common. This order also contains what people believe to be the most
dangerous shark species, the great white shark. But the misguided perception that these
sharks are potential “man-eaters” has begun to diminish. All species of lamniformes are
yolksac viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young that develop in utero and feed
on their yolk sacs.
Recent Research: “Transoceanic Migration, Spatial Dynamics, and Population Linkages of
White Sharks” An article focused on the behavioral patterns of White Sharks.
References used:
Bonfil, R., Meÿer, M., Scholl, M.C., Johnson, R., O'Brien, S., Oosthuizen, H., Swanson,
S., Kotze, D. and Paterson, M. Transoceanic Migration, Spatial Dynamics, and
Population Linkages of White Sharks. Science , New Series, Vol. 310, No. 5745 (Oct. 7,
2005), pp. 100-103
Grzimek, B. 2003. Grzimeks Animal Life Encyclopedia: Fishes. Gale Cengage
Learning.
www.fishbase.org
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