First known omnivorous shark species identified!
The Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo), is a species of hammerhead that is abundant in critical seagrass habitats.
Recent research on the stomach and digestive physiology of these sharks have shown that they consume lots of seagrass (up to 62.1% of gut content mass) and have specialised enzymes for digesting plant material (cellulose).
Leigh, S.C., Papastamatiou, Y.P. and German, D.P., 2018. Seagrass digestion by a notorious ‘carnivore’. Proc. R. Soc. B, 285(1886), p.20181583.
Leigh, S.C., Papastamatiou, Y.P. and German, D.P., 2018. Omnivorous Sharks? An Analysis of Bonnethead Shark Digestive Physiology Provides Evidence for Seagrass Digestion and Assimilation. In INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY (Vol. 58, pp. E130-E130). JOURNALS DEPT, 2001 EVANS RD, CARY, NC 27513 USA: OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC.
Photo taken from: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/05/bonnethead-omnivorous-shark-species-identified
20K notes · View notes