Friday July 21, 2023

Science Daily

Approximately 99.9% of fish and shark species are “cold-blooded,” meaning their body tissues generally match the temperature of the water they swim in — but researchers have just discovered the mighty basking shark is a one-in-a-thousand exception. Instead, these sharks keep the core regions of their bodies warmer than the water like the most athletic swimmers in the sea such as great white sharks, mako sharks and tuna.

The latter examples are so-called “regional endotherms” and are all fast swimming, apex predators at the top of the food chain. Scientists have long reasoned that their ability to keep warm helped with this athletic predatory lifestyle, and that evolution had shaped their physiology to match their requirements.

However, an international team of researchers led by those from Trinity College Dublin, has now shown that gentle, plankton-feeding basking sharks are also regional endotherms despite having very different lifestyles to white sharks and tunas.

Read more >

Link copied successfully