What causes sharks to have crooked spines?


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Earthtouchnews has an article describing a bull shark with a crooked spine. That shark was found by the shark lab in Bimini. They named him "Quasimido" and are speculating on what caused that deformity.

The Bimini Shark Lab team secures "Quasimodo" for workup (a short checkup that includes taking various measurements of the animal). Image: Chelle Blais/Bimini Biological Field Station
Sarah Keartes writes: "Dr. Natalie D. Mylniczenko, a veterinarian who has spent time with the Shark Lab beforepresented several possible explanations for the bull shark's strange skeleton. It's possible that a deep abscess, granuloma, or slow-growing cancer is to blame – but Quasimodo's overall state seems to suggest otherwise. If disease were at the root of the deformity, we would expect to see at least some abnormal behaviour. The more likely culprit, according to Mylniczenko, is either a congenital or traumatic incident. In either case, this would have occurred when the shark was very young, and over time, his body would have compensated and healed in a skewed position."

Read the full story here: https://www.earthtouchnews.com/oceans/sharks/meet-quasimodo-the-bull-shark-with-a-very-crooked-spine/
 
Image: Chelle Blais/Bimini Biological Field Station

This Bull Shark is not the only shark with a deformed spine. At Guadalupe Island, we have our own Great White Shark with the same deformation. When we first met her a couple of years ago, I nicknamed her "Kinky" because of the very distinct kink in her tail. I have no idea what caused that kink, since she doesn't have any obvious scars or signs of injury. She was named "Screaming Mimi" by someone through the "Sponsor a shark" program of the Marine Conservation Science Institute. That sponsor program, is one of the ways they raise funds for the Photo ID database at Guadalupe Island.
 
"Screaming Mimi"

Just like the "Quasimodo" in Bimini who was seen swimming around a couple of weeks after the people from the Shark Lab examined it, "Screaming Mimi" also seems to be doing well and has been very active around our cages at Guadalupe Island.