Reproductive Anatomy of Chondrichthyans: Notes on Specimen Handling and Sperm Extraction. II. Sharks and Chimaeras
P. García-Salinas, V. Gallego, J.F. Asturiano
The chondrichthyan fishes, which comprise sharks, rays, and chimaeras, are one of the most threatened groups of vertebrates on the planet. Given this situation, an additional strategy for the protection of these species could be the ex situ conservation projects developed in public aquaria and research centers. Nevertheless, to increase sustainability and to develop properly in situ reintroduction strategies, captive breeding techniques, such as sperm extraction and artificial insemination, should be developed. These techniques are commonly used in other threatened species and could be also used in chondrichthyans. However, the different reproductive morphologies found in this group can complicate both processes. Therefore, a comparison of the reproductive anatomy of eight distinct chondrichthyans, with an emphasis on those important differences when performing sperm extraction or artificial insemination, is carried out herein. Sharks and chimaeras belonging to the Scyliorhinidae, Carcharhinidae, Centrophoridae, Etmopteridae, Hexanchidae, and Chimaeridae families were obtained from commercial fisheries, public aquaria, and stranding events. In addition, the process of obtaining viable sperm samples through cannulation, abdominal massage, and oviducal gland extraction is described in detail for both living and dead animals.
Animals 11: 2191