A morphometric analysis of the genus Centrophorus in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean
Florida Program for Shark Research biologists are studying the morphometrics of deep-sea sharks belonging to the genus Centrophorus
from the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Measurements have been analyzed to determine the validity of numerous species within this genus. The first part of this research was performing a "Discriminant Function Analysis" using numerous morphological measurements of a number of museum specimens as well as some recently caught specimens from Jamaican waters. Key characters that separated these specimens, as determined by the analysis, were associated with the length of the snout, length of the subterminal margin, length of the caudal fin, and inner margin of the pelvic fins.
Morphometrics of additional specimens (provided by Jose Castro and Mote Marine Laboratory), also collected from the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean, were compared with the results from the original specimens. All of the Centrophorus
specimens were compared using the 12 most diagnostic measurements resulting in the determination of the existence of at least eight different species of Centrophorus
in the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean. This study also supports the validity of C. acus
, C. granulosus
, and C. uyato
as well as a fourth species from Jamaica.
Future activities will include completion of measurements all 66 variables in the Castro specimens, so that a full statistical analysis can be completed. An investigation of all existing holotypes is planned. Finally, a genetic analysis, which will be coupled with the morphometric analysis, is underway.