Evidence of a counter-current heat exchanger in the ray, Mobula tarapacana (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii: Batoidea: Myliobatiformes)

Authors

  • R. L. Alexander

    1. Shark Research Centre, Division of Life Sciences, South African Museum, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa and Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

A vascular network, or rete, has been found in the pectoral fin of the mobulid ray, Mobula tarapacana. This rete appears to be a counter-current heat exchanger which, in conjunction with a high level of red muscle, indicates that this ray is warm-bodied. Preliminary results on other closely related rays indicate that retia may be more common amongst the rays than previously thought.

Ancillary