CZAAWE Resource Article

Bioenergetics of the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, maintained in captivity
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Zoo Biology
Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430130209.abs Understanding the energy requirements for captive sharks is important for their successful long-term maintenance. This information is critical in assessing the health of the animals and the suitability of their environment. We studied five bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) for up to 7 years in a 2.5 × 106 liter oceanarium. Individual animal feedings provided information for food intake analysis. During the first 3 years, fork length increase was estimated to have averaged 1.9 cm/month (s.d. = 0.1), or 23.0 cm/year. Biannual measurements, begun in the fourth year, showed that growth rates decreased during the next 4 years to a mean rate of 0.6 cm/month (s.d. = 0.2), or about 7.0 cm/year. Mean food consumption from June 1988 to December 1992 was 3.4% body weight per week. Caloric conversion of weights incorporated into a simple bioenergetics model providing mean metabolic expenditures per animal was 5.7 (s.d. = 0.3) and 4 (s.d. = 0.5) kcal/kg/day for 1991 and 1992, respectively. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.