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HOW A TARPON GROWS
Roy Terrell
May 11, 1959
Washed into protected coves, tarpon eggs (1) develop into prolarval stage (2). Next is leptocephalus stage (3), an elongated, ribbonlike larva first positively identified two years ago by Earl Deubler, an ichthyologist of University of North Carolina. In postleptocephalid stage (4) this larva shortens and thickens and grows into the true baby tarpon (5), an inch or more in length, a voracious feeder of copepods and other plankton forms. Within a few months he is fully scaled (6) and within a year may be a foot long. Staple diet is shrimp, crabs and small fish. At four or five years tarpon reach the spawning age. Their rate of growth is slow but continuous up to more than 100 pounds; giants of 200 pounds or more are almost certainly abnormal specimens.
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May 11, 1959

How A Tarpon Grows

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Washed into protected coves, tarpon eggs (1) develop into prolarval stage (2). Next is leptocephalus stage (3), an elongated, ribbonlike larva first positively identified two years ago by Earl Deubler, an ichthyologist of University of North Carolina. In postleptocephalid stage (4) this larva shortens and thickens and grows into the true baby tarpon (5), an inch or more in length, a voracious feeder of copepods and other plankton forms. Within a few months he is fully scaled (6) and within a year may be a foot long. Staple diet is shrimp, crabs and small fish. At four or five years tarpon reach the spawning age. Their rate of growth is slow but continuous up to more than 100 pounds; giants of 200 pounds or more are almost certainly abnormal specimens.

1 1.7 MM.
2 1.9 MM.
3 18 MM.
4 18.8 MM.
5 46 MM.
6 80 MM.

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