Thresher sharks are one of the most easily distinguishable species of sharks.
Thresher Sharks are best known for their long and whip-like tail that measures even more than its own body. The thresher shark’s tail is so large that it accounts for 33 percent of the shark’s total body weight.
Thresher sharks have big eyes, a small mouth, large pectoral fins, first dorsal fin and pelvic fins. They have a small second dorsal fin (near their tail) and anal fins. Their most noticeable characteristic, as noted above, is that the top lobe of their tail is unusually long and whip-like. This tail may be used to herd and stun small fish, upon which it preys.
DID YOU KNOW that Thresher Sharks are known for slaying their prey with their huge tails and are also famous for special jumping techniques and behavior called “breaching” where they jump out of the water and into the air. They are one of the few sharks that are able to fully jump out of the water.
Cool Fact — The thresher shark can swim at high speeds in short bursts and may even leap high out of the water if threatened.
There are 3 species, the common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinusexternal), the bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosusexternal)
and the pelagic thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus).
The Common Thresher Shark swims from the surface to a depth of about 1,150 feet (350 m). Although Thresher Sharks love open and deep waters, they are also found in shallow waters near coastal areas. They are generally not found deeper than 500 meters (1,640ft).
The largest known thresher sharks reach a length of more than 6 meters (20ft) and weigh 600 kilograms (216 pounds). Bigeye threshers are normally the largest with pelagic thresher sharks being the smallest. These are slow growing sharks. They reach their maturity between 8 and 13 years old and live about 22 year.
Thresher sharks reproduce each year and are ovoviviparous, meaning that eggs develop inside the mother’s body, but the young are not attached by a placenta. The embryos feed on eggs in the uterus. After 9 months gestation, females give birth to two to seven live young who are 3-5 feet long at birth.
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