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This week in Fish: Small fishes and shark ageing

By: Mark McGrouther, Category: Science, Date: 11 Feb 2011

This week we feature a blog post on Dr Jeff Leis' research.  We show you how to age a shark by examining its backbone and present an image of a juvenile fish collected in French Polynesia, along with the net that collected it.  We welcome Dr Barry Russell, who is currently visiting the Fish Section to further his research on lizardfishes.

Pascal Geraghty and shark vertebra

Pascal Geraghty © Pascal Geraghty

'Small' fish make the big time

Blog post about how the research of Australian Museum scientist Jeff Leis was recently featured in a leading international science magazine. The article discusses how tiny larval fishes survive in the ocean and find a reef home.

Larval fish description:

Larval Eastern Pomfred Schuettea scalaripinnis (Steindachner, 1866)

New Visitor:

Dr Barry Russell, 2011

Ageing sharks:

How do scientists age a shark from its vertebrae?  The images below provide a glimpse into how it is done.

Dusky Whaler vertebra
Pascal Geraghty and shark vertebra
Sectioned Dusky Whaler vertebra

New fish index:

Labridae - Wrasses

French Polynesian fishes

During a recent expedition to French Polynesia, a crest net was used to catch larval fishes. A number of the fishes, including a Surge Wrasse emerged as juveniles after spending days hidden in the sand at the bottom of an aquarium.

Juvenile Surge Wrasse
Setting a crest net
Surge Wrasse, Thalassoma purpureum

Tags fishes, ichthyology, small fishes, ageing sharks, Jeff Leis, Barry Russell,