Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives, Second Edition

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ISBN 9781439839249
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New in the Second Edition

  • A new chapter on the phylogeny of recent elasmobranchs using emergent molecular techniques to reconstruct classical lineages and presents revisions to the taxonomy of the Chondrichthyes
  • Updated treatment of reproduction with an examination of the latest molecular techniques and approaches
  • Expanded chapter on genetics to include data on natal homing grounds, philopatry, sex-based dispersal, and other, as yet unpublished, applications of forensic genetics
  • A new chapter on emerging techniques that link elasmobranch behavior, physiology, and ecology
  • Every chapter revised to cover recent advances in all aspects of elasmobranch biology with extensive, revised, contemporary citations from the scientific literature
  • A sixteen page color insert


Virtually every area of research associated with sharks and their relatives has been strongly impacted by the revolutionary growth in technology. The questions we can now ask are very different than those reported even two decades ago. Modern immunological and genetic techniques, satellite telemetry and archival tagging, modern phylogenetic analysis, GIS, and bomb dating, are just a few of the techniques and procedures that have become a part of our investigative lexicon.

A modern synthesis of the biology of Chondrichthyans, Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives, Second Edition discusses significant advances in the development and application of new molecular techniques to the understanding of the phylogenetic relationships among and between these groups. The book considers the effect of global changes on the status of sharks and their relatives, and how advances in technology and analytical techniques have changed not only how we approach problem solving and scientific investigations, but how we formulate questions. The book also introduces applications of new and novel laboratory devices, techniques, and field instruments.

This second edition of the award winning and groundbreaking original exploration of the fundamental elements of the taxonomy, systematics, physiology, and ecology of sharks, skates, rays, and chimera, presents cohesive and integrated coverage of key topics and discusses technological advances used in modern shark research. Offering a well-rounded picture for students and researchers, and far above competitors in scope and research, this new volume holds a wealth of data on the current status of Chondrichthyan research and provides the basis and springboard for original research.

Cover photo by Justin Gilligan

Table of Contents

Phylogeny and Zoogeography
The Origin and Relationships of Early Chondrichthyans
Eileen D. Grogan, Richard Lund, and Emily Greenfest-Allen
Elasmobranch Phylogeny: A Mitochondrial Estimate Based on 595 Species
Gavin J.P. Naylor, Janine N. Caira, Kirsten Jensen, Kerri A.M. Rosana, Nicolas Straube, and Clemens Lakner
Phylogeny of Batoidea
Neil C. Aschliman, Kerin M. Claeson, and John D. McEachran
Phylogeny, Biology, and Classification of Extant Holocephalans
Dominique A. Didier, Jenny M. Kemper, and David A. Ebert

Form, Function, and Physiological Processes
Biomechanics of Locomotion in Sharks, Rays, and Chimeras

Anabela M.R. Maia, Cheryl A.D. Wilga, and George V. Lauder
Prey Capture Behavior and Feeding Mechanics of Elasmobranchs
Philip J. Motta and Daniel R. Huber
Energetics, Metabolism, and Endothermy in Sharks and Rays
Diego Bernal, John K. Carlson, Kenneth J. Goldman, and Christopher G. Lowe
Food Consumption and Feeding Habits
Bradley M. Wetherbee, Enric Cortés, and Joseph J. Bizzarro
Integrative Multisensor Tagging: Emerging Techniques to Link Elasmobranch Behavior, Physiology, and Ecology
Nicholas M. Whitney, Yannis P. Papastamatiou, Adrian C. Gleiss
Reproductive Biology of Elasmobranchs
Christina L. Conrath and John A. Musick
Hormonal Regulation of Elasmobranch Physiology
James Gelsleichter and Andrew N. Evans
Sensory Physiology and Behavior of Elasmobranchs
Jayne M. Gardiner, Robert E. Hueter, Karen P. Maruska, Joseph A. Sisneros, Brandon M. Casper, David A. Mann, Leo S. Demski
Recent Advances in Elasmobranch Immunology
Carl A. Luer, Catherine J. Walsh, and Ashby B. Bodine

Ecology and Life History
Assessing the Age and Growth of Chondrichthyan Fishes

Kenneth J. Goldman, Gregor M. Cailliet, Allen H. Andrews, and Lisa J. Natanson
Population Dynamics, Demography, and Stock Assessment
Enric Cortés, Elizabeth N. Brooks, and Todd Gedamke
Genetics of Sharks, Skates, and Rays
Edward J. Heist
Predator–Prey Interactions
Michael R. Heithaus and Jeremy J. Vaudo
An Updated Look at Elasmobranchs as Hosts of Metazoan Parasites
Janine N. Caira, Claire J. Healy, and Kirsten Jensen
Assessing Habitat Use and Movement
Colin A. Simpfendorfer and Michelle R. Heupel

Author Bio(s)

Editorial Reviews

"This publication will be informative and indispensable to fish biologists, university students and aquarium staff. The editor is to be praised for the great job of integrating many contributions into a very useful publication. … This book is no doubt the most up-to-date publication on chondrichthyan biology for specialists."
—Keiichi Sato, Chief of Aquarium Education, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, in Marine Biology Research, 2013; 9: 227

"The new-and-improved second edition of this excellent series contains the latest information about many aspects of shark research. Additionally, the book contains several brand-new chapters focusing on how improved technology (molecular/genetic methods as well as satellite and acoustic tracking) has affected shark research. As with the first edition, this volume primarily focuses on 3 broad sections of elasmobranch research: phylogeny and zoogeography; form, function, and physiology; and ecology and life history. Within each section, there are several chapters focusing on a specific field of research, each written by a team of experts in that field. While the language of some chapters may be a bit technical for some non-scientist readers, this book (and the others in the series) are an invaluable guide to shark science. This book is worth getting for the epic reference list alone."
—David Shiffman – WhySharksMatter, in Southern Fried Science, July 23, 2012

"A work purporting to provide a comprehensive review of a specific taxon's biology often completely omits relevant topics, but such is not the case with this second edition (1st ed., CH, Nov'04, 42-1559). Systematics, behavior, physiology, and ecology of cartilaginous fish are thoroughly reviewed here. The book's contributors also address topics such as evolutionary history, genetics, anatomy, and histology to the extent that they provide insight into the main topic areas. The bulk of information relates to sharks, with somewhat less material presented on the batoids (skates and rays) and much less on the chimaera (deepwater cartilaginous fish). This is not a case of selective editing; the relative amounts of information reflect the number of studies that have been conducted on each of these groups. However, the book contains noteworthy, novel contributions for all three taxonomic groups. The figures and tables are consistent in appearance throughout the text. The chapter narratives are well written and lucid, while the associated citations are current and extensive. This work should claim the role of its predecessor in serving as a fundamental resource for researchers and students of the cartilaginous fishes, as well as marine biologists of all disciplines. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."
—S. R. Fegley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in CHOICE, December 2012

Praise for the First Edition

"The table of contents … is the first indication that this book’s editors succeeded in their objective of compiling far more than just another book about the biology of the Class Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays, and chimeras). It is the scope of this book that distinguishes it. …contributions have been carefully prepared and provide generally thorough and well-referenced accounts of each subject. …the volume is a solid contribution and in many respects is far more than the sum of its parts. … It will be an important reference for all students of fish biology, marine biologists, and those concerned with fishery conservation and sustaining marine biodiversity."
—Jeffrey B. Graham, The Journal of Experimental Biology, 208, 419-420 (2005)

"This book … is presented as a tribute to the work of three outstanding shark researchers—Perry Gilbert, Shelton Applegate, and Samuel Gruber. …a benchmark publication, offering a well-rounded picture of the current status of chondrichthyan research for advanced students, professors of ichthyology or vertebrate zoology, and even specialists. The in-depth but educational nature of many of the papers make for excellent teaching material that, coupled with the presentation of original research, renders this volume a noteworthy addition to the chondrichthyan literature."
—Marcelo R de Carvalho, Quarterly Review of Biology, Volume 80 (2005)

"The editors have done a superb job of melding the efforts of nearly 40 contributors into a cohesive volume that covers virtually all aspects of elasmobranch biology…. Separate subject and animal indexes simplify tracking down specific information, and the extensive, up-to-date reference lists are an invaluable resource…. This is a very important volume that will be the key reference on sharks and their relatives for years to come. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-level undergraduates and above."
—G. C. Jensen, Choice, November (2004)