We've mentioned before on The Fins United Initiative that there are three thresher sharks: Long-tailed or Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus), Bigeye Thresher Shark (Alopias superciliosus), and the Pelagic Thresher Shark (Alopias pelagicus). The Common and Bigeye thresher sharks are thought to occur throughout Dutch-Caribbean waters and has been confirmed in and around the Windward Islands, while the Pelagic Thresher is an Indo-Pacific animal. All three species are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as “Vulnerable” because of their declining populations.
The common thresher shark is the largest of the thresher sharks, growing up to 6.1 metres (20 ft) and weigh up to 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds). They eat schooling fish such as sardines, mackerel or juvenile tuna. From our General: Thresher Sharks blog post: One of the more recognised sharks thanks to their whip-like tail. Just as deadly as Zorro’s sword, they instead use the elongated upper lobe of their caudal (tail) fin to herd, stun, and ultimately kill their prey (which includes small fish, squids, octopi and sometimes seabirds).
Like many shark species, they are viviparous with placentas, and result in small litters of two to four large, well-developed pups; these pups are known to feed on the mother’s unfertilised eggs, a practice known as oophagy.
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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