While many people will think of great whites or hammerheads when imagining sharks, there are many species found throughout this world. Many of them are extremely unique in their own way, and have physical or mental characteristics that help distinguish them. One of those unique sharks is the thresher shark. Thresher sharks (Alopias vulpinus), are easily recognizable due to their long caudal fins, which equate to nearly half of their total body length. Their dorsal and pelvic fins also help distinguish themselves from the rest of the shark family.
At SharkSider, our team of experts has become big fans of the thresher shark and its various subspecies. Because of this, we have a compiled a list of thresher shark facts that we believe tell the whole story regarding the species. Hopefully, you will become a thresher shark expert amongst friends and family once going over the various information.
Thresher sharks come in many shapes and sizes. The various thresher shark subspecies include Atlantic threshers, big-eye threshers, common threshers, fox sharks, gray fishes, and green threshers. As mentioned earlier, the reason for their name comes from their long caudal fins, but there are other characteristics that make the thresher shark stand out from the rest.
Habitat And Behavior
The first of our thresher shark facts deals with the species’ habitat and eating behavior. Thresher sharks enjoy the warm and temperate water founds throughout the globe. They usually prefer the cool pelagic waters, but have been known to wander into coastal areas in pursuit of various schools of fish.
There sharks also contain small, curved, and razor sharp teeth that they use to attack their prey. With these little chompers, the thresher shark will feast upon various aquatic life, including squid, octopuses, crustaceans, and small schooling fish (blue fish, needlefish, lanternfish, shad, and mackerel). Besides their teeth, thresher sharks have also been known to use their tails to stun their prey. Who can blame them when their tails take up half their body length!
Our list of thresher shark facts continues with reproduction. Thresher sharks are ovoviviparous. This means that the eggs are retained within the body of the female in a place called the brood chamber. Once there, the embryo develops by receiving nourishment from a yolk sac. This method of reproduction is very common amongst sharks throughout the world.
In terms of sexual maturity, there is a difference between genders. Male threshers will usually reach sexual maturity at around 2.7 meters. Females, on the other hand, reach sexual maturity at about 3 meters. Once fertilized, a litter of shark pups will usually consist 4-6 pups, measuring at around 1.5 meters in length. These pups have a very fast growth rate, but these species are still vulnerable for potential extinction.
The last of our thresher shark facts deals with conservation. Thresher shark abundance in the Atlantic ocean has decreased by nearly 67% percent! This is because this shark species has fallen victim to bycatch (being entangled in fishing nets), as well as being a gamefish, where the species is hunted for its rarity and uniqueness. In the Pacific, these percentages are not nearly as bad. This is because regulations have been set forth in this ocean in order to ensure fish conservation. Hopefully, the governing bodies that inhabit the Atlantic ocean coast will do the same.
If you would like to learn more thresher shark facts, as well, as other shark species, please visit SharkSider today. Our team of experts takes great care of our database, and has done what it can in order to raise awareness on shark conservation. Please visit our website today for more information!