Counting the vertebrae on a blacktip shark

Comparison of the reproductive ecology of two sympatric blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus and Carcharhinus tilstoni) off north-eastern Australia with species identification inferred from vertebral counts

Journal of Fish Biology

This paper was the fifth chapter of my PhD. My research was a part of two projects investigating the fisheries biology of sharks in Queensland waters. As part of these projects, we established a protocol for distinguishing between morphologically similar Australian blacktip, Carcharhinus tilstoni, and Common blacktip, Carcharhinus limbatus using mtDNA.

This paper was done in response to observations that our method wasn’t working as expected, with some species being misidentified using this technique. It was an important step in the later discovery of hybridisation between the two species.