This study sought to observe the effects of submerged weight and frontal cross-sectional area of external telemetry packages on the kinematics, activity levels and swimming performance of small-bodied juvenile sharks, using lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris (60–80 cm total length, LT) as a model species. Juveniles were observed free-swimming in a mesocosm untagged and with small and large external accelerometer packages that increased frontal cross-sectional area of the animals and their submerged weight. Despite adhering to widely used standards for tag mass, the presence of an external telemetry package altered swimming kinematics, activity levels and swimming performance of juvenile N. brevirostris relative to untagged individuals, suggesting that tag mass is not a suitable standalone metric of device suitability. Changes in swimming performance could not be detected from tail-beat frequency, which suggests that tail-beat frequency is an unsuitable standalone metric of swimming performance for small N. brevirostris. Lastly, sharks experienced treatment-specific changes in activity level and swimming kinematics from morning to afternoon observation. Therefore, the presence of external telemetry packages altered the kinematics, activity levels and swimming performance of small young-of-the-year N. brevirostris and these data may therefore be relevant to other similar-sized juveniles of other shark species.
- dynamic body acceleration
- tag attachment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science