Insights into vertebral band pair deposition rate in the juvenile common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Academic Article uri icon


  • Validation of band pair deposition rates in elasmobranch vertebrae is essential for accurate age estimation using band pair counting techniques. We present a validation study of the vertebral band pair deposition rate for juvenile common thresher sharks Alopias vulpinus in the northeastern Pacific Ocean (NEPO) using tag and recapture with oxytetracycline (OTC) injection. A total of 14 juvenile A. vulpinus marked with OTC from 1998 through 2013 were recaptured with times at liberty ranging from 1.08 to 3.81years with an average of 2.14years (0.97years standard deviation, SD). Shark size ranged from 80 to 128cm fork length (LF) at the time of OTC injection and from 112 to 168cm LF for those measured at recapture. The slopes of the relationships between band pairs post OTC and years at liberty for each reader ranged from 0.84 to 0.95, slightly lower than the 1.0 slope expected from annual band pair formation. These findings preliminarily support previous age and growth assumptions based on a one band pair per year deposition rate. However, high variation in band pair deposition rates between samples, coupled with regression slopes falling just under one band pair per year, indicates that further investigation is needed to refine band pair deposition rate estimates.

published proceedings

  • J Fish Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Spear, L. N., Kohin, S., Mohan, J. A., & Wells, R.

complete list of authors

  • Spear, Luka N||Kohin, Suzanne||Mohan, John A||Wells, RJ David

publication date

  • August 2023