[MARMAM] Recent publication regarding shark predation on seals at Sable Island, Nova Scotia

Zoe Lucas zoelucas at greenhorsesociety.com
Sat Nov 27 04:37:25 PST 2010

Lucas, Z.N. & Natanson, L.J. 2010.
Two shark species involved in predation on seals at Sable Island, Nova
Scotia, Canada.
Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science 45(2):64-88.

Summary: Between 1993 and 2001, 4906 seal corpses bearing wounds likely
inflicted by sharks were examined on Sable Island, Canada. Five seal species
were involved: grey Halichoerus grypus, harp Pagophilus groenlandica,
harbour Phoca vitulina, hooded Cystophora cristata, and ringed Phoca hispida
seals. Flesh wounds on seal corpses indicated that two or more shark species
prey on seals in waters around Sable Island. Wounds were categorized as
either slash or corkscrew, with different predators identified for each
type. Wound patterns, tooth fragments, and marks on bones indicated that
white sharks Carcharodon carcharias were involved in the slash wounds, which
comprised a small proportion of attacks. Ninety-eight percent of seal
corpses, however, bore the corkscrew wounds that could not be attributed to
shark species identified in attacks on pinnipeds in other regions and these
wounds are previously unreported in the literature. Circumstantial evidence
indicates that attacks by Greenland sharks Somniosus microcephalus were
responsible for the clean-edged encircling corkscrew wounds seen on seal
corpses washed ashore on Sable Island.

Sent by Zoe Lucas
zoelucas at greenhorsesociety.com

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