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rapid voluntary stomach eversion in a free-living shark

  • juerg m. brunnschweiler (a1), paul l.r. andrews (a2), emily j. southall (a3), mark pickering (a2) and david w. sims (a3)...
    • Published online: 06 October 2005

video observation of oral gastric eversion in a free-living caribbean reef shark (carcharhinus perezi) shows voluntary gastric eversion followed by retraction not only occurs, but is extremely rapid (lasting ∼0.3 s). eversion may occur by stomach relaxation–oesophageal contraction coupled with increased abdominal pressures to enable prolapse, and retraction by a mechanism analogous to suction feeding. this behaviour provides a ‘cleansing’ function for removing indigestible food particles, parasites or mucus from the stomach lining. sharks, and possibly other animals with similar gut morphologies, may use this technique to help maintain a healthy alimentary tract.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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