SeaWorld veterinarian Dr. Montano, a reproductive physiologist, and OCEARCH have teamed up for an expedition to analyze and study shark’s reproductive habits and wellbeing. Their team performed the research just off the coast of the Carolinas in the Atlantic Ocean.
Dr. Montano notes that this collaboration is important for the veterinarians at SeaWorld. By going on these expeditions, they get to work with species of sharks that are not currently at the park. This knowledge can be used to help preserve and protect the natural habitat of the species as a whole.
The team collected samples from more than 20 sharks. Using this data, they hope to learn more about the reproductive health of the sharks. Dr. Montano did full-body ultrasounds to check the reproductive organs of both male and female sharks. This allowed them to analyze the reproductive health of the sharks they studied.
Another important goal of the research was to determine if the location studied is a primary breeding ground for the sharks. This information would help them to understand where efforts should be focused to protect the species long-term.
Other aspects of the research involved the general well-being of the sharks. Using past research on their movement patterns, they identified potential feeding grounds in the same locations off the coast of the Carolinas. Monitoring and recording weather patterns, along with studying the variety and health of food availability, is a goal for future collaborative expeditions.
More research is needed to understand the patterns of the sharks studied. By doing these expeditions and location tagging sharks, researchers can monitor their movement patterns. These patterns help researchers identify more locations that can be potential breeding grounds. In turn, these breeding grounds can be studied, and the knowledge gained can be used to further protect future generations of sharks.
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