Animals, Vol. 11, Pages 2947: Spatial–Temporal Distribution of Megamouth Shark, Megachasma pelagios, Inferred from over 250 Individuals Recorded in the Three Oceans
Animals doi: 10.3390/ani11102947
The megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) is one of the rarest shark species in the three oceans, and its biological and fishery information is still very limited. A total of 261 landing/stranding records were examined, including 132 females, 87 males, and 42 sex unknown individuals, to provide the most detailed information on global megamouth shark records, and the spatial–temporal distribution of M. pelagios was inferenced from these records. The vertical distribution of M. pelagios ranged 0–1203 m in depth, and immature individuals were mostly found in the waters shallower than 200 m. Mature individuals are not only able to dive deeper, but also move to higher latitude waters. The majority of M. pelagios are found in the western North Pacific Ocean (&gt;5° N). The Indian and Atlantic Oceans are the potential nursery areas for this species, immature individuals are mainly found in Indonesia and Philippine waters. Large individuals tend to move towards higher latitude waters (&gt;15° N) for foraging and growth from April to August. Sexual segregation of M. pelagios is found, females tend to move to higher latitude waters (&gt;30° N) in the western North Pacific Ocean, but males may move across the North Pacific Ocean.
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