The Blue Shark is one of the most beautiful of all sharks. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most over fished sharks in the world. Also known as the Prionace Glauca, they are easy to identify because of their special slim, torpedo shaped figures. Their swimming is very elegant and they are known to be exquisite swimmers. They reach up to 4 meters in length (13 feet) and weight up to 205 kilograms (450 pounds).
One of the Blue shark facts is that the Blue shark prefers a habitat of deep, cool waters, making it an epipelagic species. It typically can be found as far down as 350 meters from the surface in more tropical waters, but will sometimes come close to shore in more temperate waters, where it can be observed by divers or people in boats. This is rare, however, and their preferred temperature to dwell in is around 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
One of the coolest Blue shark facts is that, though they are found off the coast of every continent but Antarctica, they have no set habitual area that they return to, and will swim thousands of miles to find food or for mating purposes, and can travel these distances within a very short amount of time.
One of my favorite Blue shark facts is the reason behind its specially designed body. The Blue shark has a sleek, tapered body specifically made for agile, graceful movements through the water. Their tail fin moves from side to side making them extremely fast, powerful swimmers and easily able to pursue their prey for extended distances. They range anywhere from dark to light blue in coloration, and even sometimes have several shades of blue on their bodies to make a gradient, with the darkest colors on top.
Blue Shark Size
On average, Blue sharks grow to about 12 to 13 feet in length, and aren’t heavy sharks at all, with the maximum weight being about 450 pounds. They have a slender body, making them easily mistaken for the pups of other shark species.
Like all other shark species, they have a special sense of feeling with and organ called the ampullae of Lorenzini. They are able to track their prey through electro magnetic pulse that all living creatures emit. They can even sense your heart beating from several miles away!
This shark is one of the few which migrates in something akin to a “school,” or larger group of many like individuals. One cool Blue shark fact is that they also tend to show a distinct hierarchy within these schools, and are segregated by size as well as sex – or, paired in groups of all females or all males.
Due to the fact that the Blue shark will travel great distances for their food, and swim extremely quickly, Blue sharks tend to feed until they are close to bursting. Due to this, they typically will feed enthusiastically until they are forced to regurgitate their meal, only to do it all over again, making their hunger seem insatiable at times.
Blue sharks are not picky eaters by any definition of the term, and will feed on all sorts of different prey. They’re often seen feeling on schools of anchovies, and will also gladly feed on mackerel, seals, turtles, squid, bony fish, smaller sharks, shrimp, lobster and even birds! Their many rows of serrated, inward facing teeth and special gill rakers located on their gills prevent more slippery food like squid from escaping their grasp, and they will dive as deep as 1,500, if not more, in order to catch their prey.
This is a Viviparous shark, which means the pup shark develops in the uterus. Females give live births to 20 to 100 pups at once.
The courtship between males and females is quite violent. Male sharks often bite females so female skin is 3 times as thick as a males skin.
Relationship with Humans
This is the most fished shark of all shark species. They are used for their fins, shark skin, tails, and flesh. Sometimes their teeth and jaws are taken for commercial uses as well. There has been much concern recently about over fishing from both commercial fisheries as well as game fisheries. Approximately 10 to 20 million of these sharks are killed due to human capture every year. This species has no other natural enemies besides Humans.
This species is non aggressive towards humans. The only known attacks are the result of the shark feeling threatened or biting after a human capture of the shark.
Blue sharks are viviparous with a yolk-sac placenta, meaning they give live birth to many pups at a time. Both females and males of this species typically reach maturity at four to six years of age, and because their mating ritual is thought to involve biting by the male, the females have adapted to develop skin much thicker than the male skin. The gestation period for pups is anywhere from 9 to 12 months, and they generally deliver anywhere from 5 to 135 pups – per litter!
Blue sharks are not without their own predators, and often the smaller individuals are a meal for larger sharks like the Great White or the Tiger shark. This species is also often the victim of several different types of parasites; for example, they easily become infected by the tetraphyllidean tapeworm by eating other hosts of the parasite.
Unfortunately, and possibly one of the most unfortunate Blue shark facts, they are also preyed upon by human fishing practices. Not only sought after for their skin – both for means of leather as well as being desired for their beauty – they are also captured and sold for cooking purposes; for example, their liver can be used for oil, and they are also sometimes caught to be eaten fresh or dried.