Stiffness without mineral: material properties and biochemical components of jaws and chondrocrania in the Elasmobranchii (sharks, skates, and rays)

Marianne E Porter, Jennie L Beltran, Stephen M Kajiura, Thomas J Koob & Adam P Summers
Chondrichthyians (sharks, ratfish, and rays) can function at extremes (growing big, swimming fast, and eating hard-prey) suggesting their skeletons are experiencing loading regimes equal to or greater than those of other fishes. In most vertebrates, cartilage is a soft connective tissue serving two purposes; a low-friction bearing surface and contour filler; however, cartilaginous fishes maintain a skeleton made of cartilage throughout life. We examined material properties and biochemical components of cartilage from the jaws and/or...