A Rare Use of a Shark's Fin? Pectoral Fin Scooping of a Sharksucker from The Flank Area of a Female Blacktip Shark
Erich K. Ritter*
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2012
First Page: 57
Last Page: 59
Publisher Id: TOFISHSJ-5-57
Article History:Received Date: 29/02/2012
Revision Received Date: 25/04/2012
Acceptance Date: 03/05/2012
Electronic publication date: 14/6/2012
Collection year: 2012
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Sharks react in a variety of ways when sharksuckers attach to their bodies. Here, an unobserved behavior is described in which a blacktip shark, Carcharhinus limbatus, uses a pectoral fin in a scoop-like manner to specifically target the removal of a sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, in the flank area. This coordinated use of the pectoral fin indicates an established bout in the shark's repertoire to remove sharksuckers. The anatomical flexibility and coordination of the fin is discussed; likewise, the potential origin and commonality within other species of the same family based on the rise of sharksuckers in the Eocene-Oligocene period. Special emphasis is placed on the value of a single observation of animal behavior in the field.