Sharks are of commercial, research, conservation, and exhibition importance but we know little regarding health parameters and population status for many species. Here we present health indicators and species comparisons for adults of three common wild-caught species: 30 Atlantic sharpnose sharks (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) and 31 bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) from the western Atlantic, and 30 spiny dogfish sharks (Squalus acanthias) from the eastern Pacific. All animals were captured during June–July 2009 and 2010. Median values and preliminary reference intervals were calculated for hematology, plasma biochemistry, trace nutrients, and vitamin A, E, and D concentrations. Significant differences, attributable to physiologic differences among the species, were found in the basic hematologic and plasma biochemistry variables. Significant species differences in arsenic and selenium plasma concentrations were found and appear to coincide with diet and habitat variability among these three species. Vitamin E was significantly higher in the bonnethead shark, again related to the foraging ecology and ingestion of plant material by this species. The Atlantic sharpnose had significantly higher vitamin A concentrations, supported by the higher proportion of teleosts in the diet. Vitamin D was below the limit of quantification in all three species. These preliminary reference intervals for health variables can be used to assess and monitor the population health and serve as indicators of nutritional status in these populations of wild elasmobranchs.

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