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Okinawa Churashima RESEARCH CENTER

Research on marine organisms

Research staff profile

Taketeru Tomita

Taketeru Tomita

(Research Scientist)

Area of expertise Biology of chondrichthyan fishes (sharks, batoids and chimaeras)
Research content Functional morphology and evolutionary biology of chondrichthyan fishes


  • 2008 - Earth and planetary science (M.Sc.) at the University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 2009 - Visiting student at University of California, Davis
  • 2011 - Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 2011–2014 - JSPS Postdoctoral fellow at Hokkaido University
  • 2011–2013 - Research fellow at University of California, Davis
  • 2014–2015 - Research fellow at Hokkaido University Museum
  • 2015 - JSPS Postdoctoral fellow at Florida State University
  • 2015 - Current post at the Okinawa Churashima Foundation Research Center


  • Tomita, T. and Oji, T. 2010. Habitat reconstruction of Oligocene elasmobranchs from Yamaga Formation, Ashiya Group, western Japan. Paleontological Research. 14:1-12.
  • Tomita, T. 2011. Mouth-size estimation of a primitive Lamniform shark, Protolamna: Low trophic position in Lamniform shark origin. Paleontological Research, 15:68-76.
  • Tomita, T., Sato, K., Suda, K., Kawauchi, J., and Nakaya, K. 2011. Feeding of the megamouth shark (Pisces: Lamniformes: Megachasmidae) predicted by its hyoid arch: a biomechanical approach. Journal of Morphology, 272: 513-524
  • Tomita, T. and Kurihara, K. 2011. First record of a large Lamniform shark Cretodus semiplicatus in the Pacific region, from the Mikasa Formation (Lower Cenomanian), Hokkaido, Japan. Paleontological Research, 15:181-184.
  • Tomita, T., Toda, M., Ueda, K., Uchida, S., and Nakaya, K. 2012. Live-bearing manta ray: how the embryo acquires oxygen without placenta and umbilical cord. Biology Letters, 8:721-724.
  • Tomita, T., Toda, M., Yamamoto, Y., Sato, K., Uchida, S., and Nakaya, K. 2013. A novel pharyngeal expansion mechanism in the yellow-spotted fanray, Platyrhina tangi (Elasmobranchii: Batoidea), with special reference to the function of the fifth ceratobranchial cartilage in batoids. Zoomorphology, 132: 317-324.
  • Tanaka, T., Shiina, T., Tomita, T., Suzuki, S., Hosomichi, K., Sano, K., Doi, H., Kono, A., Komiyama, T., Inoko, H., and Kulski, J. K. 2013. Evolutionary relations of Hexanchiformes deep-sea sharks elucidated by whole mitochondrial genome sequences. BioMed Research International, 2013:1-12.
  • Tomita, T. Kawai, T., Matsubara, H. Nagata. R. 2013. Occurrence of the Chilean devil ray Mobula tarapacana (Elasmobnrahchii: Batoidea: Myliobatiformes) in the Sea of Okhotsk: first record from cold temperate waters. Journal of Fish Biology, 83:695-698.
  • Motani, R. Cheng, J. Tomita, T., Kelley, N., Maxwell, E., Jiang, D., and Sander, M. 2013. Absence of suction feeders among ichthyosaurs and its implications to the Mesopelagic paleoecology in the Triassic. PLOS ONE, 8:e66075.
  • Tomita, T., Kawai. T., Matsubara, H., Kobayashi. M., and Katakura, S. 2014. Northernmost record of a whale shark Rhincodon typus from the Sea of Okhotsk. Journal of Fish Biology, 84:243-246.
  • Tomita, T., Tanaka, S., Sato, K., and Nakaya, K. 2014. Pectoral fin of the megamouth shark: Skeletal and muscular systems, skin histology, and functional morphology. PLOS ONE, 9:e86205.
  • Tomita, T., Nakamura, M., Sato, K., Toda, M., and Nakaya, K. 2014. Onset of buccal pumping in catshark embryo: How Breathing Develops in the Egg Capsule. PLOS ONE, 9: e109504.
  • Tomita, T., Yokoyama, K. 2015. The first Cenozoic record of a fossil megamouth shark (Lamniformes, Megachasmidae) from Asia. Paleontological Research, 19:204-207.
  • Tomita, T. 2015. Pectoral fin of the Paleozoic shark, Cladoselache: New reconstruction based on a near-complete specimen. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35: e973029.
  • Tomita, T., Murakumo, K., Miyamoto, K., Sato, K., Oka, S., Kamisako, H. and Toda, M. 2015. Eye retraction in the giant guitarfish, Rhynchobatus djiddensis (Elasmobranchii: Batoidea): a novel mechanism for eye protection in batoid fishes. Zoology, 119: 30-35.
  • Tomita, T., Cotton, C., and Toda, M. 2015. Ultrasound and physical models shed light on the respiratory system of embryonic dogfishes. Zoology, 119: 36-41.
  • Sato, K., Nakamura, M., Tomita, T., Toda, M., Miyamoto, K., Nozu, R. 2016. How great white sharks nourish their embryos to a large size: evidence of lipid histotrophy in lamnoid shark reproduction. Biology Open 2016 5: 1211-1215. doi: 10.1242/bio.017939
  • Nakaya, K., Tomita, T., Suda, K., Sato, K., Ogimoto, K., Chappell, A., Sato, T., Takano, K., Yuki, Y. 2016. Slingshot feeding of the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni (Pisces: Lamniformes: Mitsukurinidae). Scientific Reports, 6: 27786 (2016). doi:10.1038/srep27786
  • Oka S, Tomita T, Miyamoto K. 2016. A mighty claw: Pinching force of the coconut crab, the largest terrestrial crustacean. PLOS ONE, 11(11): e0166108. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166108.
  • Tomita, T. Miyamoto, K., Kawaguchi, A., Toda, M., Oka, S., Nozu, R., Sato, K. 2016. Dental ontogeny of a white shark embryo. Journal of Morphology. doi: 10.1002/jmor.20630.
  • Nishiguchi, Y., Tomita, T., Sato, K., Yanagisawa, M., Murakumo, K., Kamisako, H., Kaneko, A., Hiruta, N., and Terai, K., Takahara, A., Okada, M. 2016. Examination of the hearts and blood vascular system of Eptatretus okinoseanus using computed tomography images, diagnostic sonography, and histology. International journal of analytical bio-science. 4: 46-54.
  • Tomita, T., Toda, M., Miyakoto, K., Ueda, K. and Nakaya K. in press. Morphology of a hidden tube: Resin injection and CT scanning reveal the three-dimensional structure of the spiracle in the Japanese bullhead shark Heterodontus japonicas (Chondrichthyes; Heterodontiformes; Heterodontidae). The Anatomical Record.
  • Tomita, T., Nozu, R., Nakamura, M., Matsuzaki, S., Miyamoto, K., Sato, K. 2017. Live-bearing without placenta: Physical estimation indicates the high oxygen-supplying ability of white shark uterus to the embryo. Scientific Reports. 7:11744.
  • Tomita, T., Toda, M., Miyamoto, K., Oka, S., Ueda, K., and Sato, K. 2018 Development of the lunate-shaped caudal fin in white shark embryos. The Anatomical Record.
  • Tomita T, Toma H, Murakumo K, Yanagisawa M, Yano N, Oka S, Miyamoto K, Hanahara N, Sato K. 2018. Captive Birth of Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) Revealed the Shift of Respiratory Mode Across Parturition. Copeia, in press.

Affiliated academic society

  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Paleontological Society of Japan