Honors College Theses

Date

2021

Major

Biology (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Christine Bedore

Abstract

Sharks and rays are cartilaginous fish that belong to the subclass Elasmobranchii. As this subclass typically consists of largely understudied and threatened species, assessments of the health of these populations becomes increasingly important in their conservation. Assessments of elasmobranch population health can include length weight relationships, condition factor analysis, or assessing the time that pupping occurs. Within this study, morphometric data on seven elasmobranch species was collected to assess length-weight relationships, condition factor, and pupping occurrence. Length weight relationships were generated using the linear regression model: log(W) = log (a) + b log (L). Condition factor was assessed using the Fulton Condition Factor equation: K = 100 (W x 10) / L3. Pupping was evaluated for rays via comparison of disc width across months of collection, while shark pupping made use of fork length comparisons. Condition factor did not differ across the seasons for any species. We could identify the time of pupping for some species, but month of pupping varied by species. This study aims to aid in the assessment of Georgia coastal elasmobranch heath as well as to generate length-weight relationships for those species on which little data is currently present.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 08, 2026

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