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Title: Age, growth, and population structure of the African cuttlefish Sepia bertheloti based on beak microstructure
Authors: Guerra Marrero, Airam Manuel 
Bartolomé, Aurora
Couce Montero, María Lorena 
Espino Ruano, Ana Maria 
Jiménez Alvarado, David 
Castro Hernández, José Juan 
Perales-Raya, Catalina
UNESCO Clasification: 240119 Zoología marina
240105 Desarrollo animal
Keywords: Cuttlefish
Daily Growth
Lower Beak
Issue Date: 2023
Journal: Marine Biology 
Abstract: In this study, we explored the feasibility of using the beaks of the African cuttlefish Sepia bertheloti for age estimation and growth analysis. The rostrum sagittal section (RSS) of the lower beak was the most suitable region in the species. It was applied in samples caught off Morocco and Guinea-Bissau between June 2018 and January 2020. A maximum life expectancy of around 14 months was observed (specifically 419 days for cuttlefishes from Morocco and 433 from Guinea-Bissau). The males presented greater longevity, as the maximum age of the females was between 9 and 11 months. Sepia bertheloti showed a negative allometric growth; however, the exponential model better describes each population growth. By sexes, the males of both locations followed an asymptotic growth model while the females exhibited a non-asymptotic growth. The growth rates were different between locations, with the highest values in Guinea-Bissau. The males, in turn, grew faster for both study locations. In Guinea-Bissau, these growth differences were influenced by the hatching season since individuals born between autumn and winter were the fastest-growing. Samples from Morocco did not show growth differences between the hatching season and other seasons. These results indicate that the RSS of lower beaks are suitable for estimating the age, growth pattern, and population structure of Sepia bertheloti.
ISSN: 0025-3162
DOI: 10.1007/s00227-023-04272-7
Source: Marine Biology [ISSN 0025-3162],v. 170 (10), (Octubre 2023)
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