The bigeye thresher (Alopias superciliosus) is another of the three confirmed species of thresher sharks. This active predator is a large shark in the Alopiidae family, found in all temperate and tropical oceans. Rarely are they spotted in shallow waters, preferring the open ocean and can venture into deep waters.
Any idea where it gets the common name from? Ding, ding, it's big eyes! Those big eyes are adapted for seeing in low light, allowing it to chase prey items like small fish and squid. Or, stun them with its tail like other thresher sharks do!
But their big eyes can't help them spot a longline fishery, where they are often taken as bycatch in the Indian Ocean and central Pacific Ocean. These sharks are considered a nuisance in the USA of the swordfish longline fishery but are commercially important in the Cuban longline fishery where they are caught during the nighttime.These sharks are also taken in bottom and pelagic gillnets and trawls as well as by sport fishermen. Their meat flesh is known to be eaten fresh, or prepared as smoked, dried and salted. The skin is used to make leather products and the fins can be used for shark fin soup in Asia. This shark seems to have a global range in tropical and temperate waters.
The IUCN has assessed these animals as Vulnerable (VU). #Finfact: All thresher sharks are listed as Vulnerable globally because of their declining populations.
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS CRITTER BEFORE?
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
SEARCH BY CATEGORIES