Pictures show a wounded shark has rebuilt its torn dorsal fin

Pictures show a wounded shark has rebuilt its torn dorsal fin

A silky shark, after part of its dorsal fin was cut off, was able to regrow many of its lost limbs, according to photos taken of this fish about a year apart. Research describing elasmobranch recovery is published In the Journal of Marine Science.

silky sharks (Carcharinus falsiformisIt is usually found off the coast of all continents except Europe and Antarctica. According to the Florida Museum. Although they generally live in the open ocean, they are also found in shallow waters near coasts. This brings them into contact with humans. Silky sharks are endangered by overfishing, a scourge that affects most shark and ray species worldwide. Shark Trust notes.

The most recently studied individual silky shark was spotted in July 2022, off the coast of Florida. He had a large chip taken from his dorsal fin, the prominent fin on the shark’s back. The missing tissue was where scientists had installed a satellite tracking device a month earlier. Tags transmit data only when they are above the surface; Since the team stopped receiving data from the shark several weeks after it was tagged, the tag was likely damaged or sank.

However, 332 days after photographing the injured shark, divers discovered the same shark, identifiable by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) arrow mark that remained attached to the base of its dorsal fin. There is no longer an open wound in the fin. “The upper part of the fin appears to have merged with the lower part and the tissue filling in the middle to form the new-shaped dorsal fin,” wrote Chelsea Black, a researcher at the University of Miami and author of the paper.

Healed fin, seen in May 2023.

Black concluded that the shark was captured but then returned injured to the ocean. Whatever the reason for catching the shark, whether it was a mistake or something more nefarious, the animal’s mark was crudely removed with a sharp instrument, Black wrote.

The injury has healed to 87% of the fin’s original size, according to the newspaper. Black calculated that the wound was likely closed 42 days after the injury, which is consistent with healing rates in other types of fish, a group of fish that includes sharks, rays and skates.

The newspaper pointed out that if the fin had been completely amputated, it likely would not have grown back. But in this case, enough of the fin remained so that the shark could fill the gap with a mixture of regenerated tissue and scar tissue.

Silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis).

While the findings are a unique look at how silky sharks heal, the paper suggests that the missing satellite tag would have provided more information. “The forced removal of this satellite tag has not only traumatized the sharks, it is negatively impacting the entire species through the loss of invaluable data needed for increased protection,” Black wrote in his paper.

Tracking sharks is a crucial way to study their migration and reproductive patterns and other aspects of the slippery fish’s lifestyles. So, please, do not catch them and cut off the tips of their fins. They may not all be as lucky as this silky shark.

more: A food blogger was fined nearly $20,000 after eating a great white shark

(Tags for translation) Shark

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