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Alopiidae - Thresher Sharks

common thresher shark

Classification

 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Chondrichthyes
 Order: Lamniformes
 Family: Alopiidae

common thresher sharkThere are three species in this family of sharks. They are found in temperate and tropical regions of all the world's oceans and range in size from 10-24 feet.

Thresher sharks are easily identified by their extremely long and curving upper caudal fin. It is often as long as the shark's body! Thresher sharks have short heads, cone-shaped snouts, and small mouths. They have long, pointed pectoral fins; two spineless dorsal fins; and five pairs of gill slits.

The sharks in this family eat bony fish and squid. They use their tails to stun their prey. They have even been know to stun seagulls with their tails!

Species in this family include: the pelagic thresher shark, the bigeye thresher shark, and the common thresher shark.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct Not Enough DataNot Enough Data
Status and range is taken from ICUN Redlist.

U.S. Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Endangered in US Endangered in US Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife. Click on U.S. status icon to go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife species profile.
  New Hampshire Status Key
Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in NH Endangered in NH
Status taken from NH Fish and Game

Location Key
Arctic OceanArctic atlantic OceanAtlantic indian OceanIndian southern oceanMediterranean/Black Sea pacific oceanPacific New Hampshire Species NH More Info Click for More Info picture Click for Image

  New Hampshire Species

 

 North/Central American Species

Common Thresher - Alopias vulpinus Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean southern ocean pacific ocean New Hampshire Species image More Info   Pelagic Thresher - Alopias pelagicus Vulnerable indian Ocean pacific ocean image More Info
Bigeye Thresher - Alopias superciliosus Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean pacific ocean image More Info

Other Species Around the World

   

 

Additional Information

Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Bigeye Thresher Shark - Alopias superciliosus profile Photos Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean pacific ocean
In the U.S., the bigeye thresher is found from the coast of New York to Florida and from the California coast to the Gulf of California and south of the Hawaiian Islands.
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Bigeye Thresher Shark - Alopias superciliosus profile Photos Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean pacific ocean
The bigeye thresher shark has eyes are in keyhole-shaped sockets that allow them to be rotated upward. This allows the bigeye thresher to locate prey that is swimming above it.
Source: ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Bigeye Thresher Shark - Alopias superciliosus Photos Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean pacific ocean
The bigeye thresher uses its long tail to herd fish and then stun them.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Common Thresher Shark - Alopias vulpinus profile Photos Video Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean Mediterranean pacific ocean New Hampshire Species
The common thresher shark can live to be 45 to 50 years old.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Common Thresher Shark - Alopias vulpinus profile Photos Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean Mediterranean pacific ocean New Hampshire Species
The common thresher shark can grow to 20 feet in length.
Source: NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Common Thresher Shark - Alopias vulpinus profile Photos Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean southern ocean pacific ocean New Hampshire Species
The common thresher shark's caudal fin is sickle-shaped and it's upper lobe is extremely long. It makes up about 50% of the total body length of the thresher shark.
Source: NOAA FishWatch Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Common Thresher Shark - Alopias vulpinus profile Photos Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean southern ocean pacific ocean New Hampshire Species
The common thresher shark is also known as the fox shark, sea fox, swiveltail, and thrasher.
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Common Thresher Shark - Alopias vulpinus profile Photos Vulnerable atlantic Ocean indian Ocean southern ocean pacific ocean New Hampshire Species
The common thresher shark preys mostly on small schooling fishes, including mackerels, bluefishes, herrings and sardines.
Source: ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Pelagic Thresher Shark - Alopias pelagicus Photos Video Vulnerable indian Ocean Mediterranean pacific ocean
The pelagic thresher has been known to leap out of the water.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Pelagic Thresher Shark - Alopias pelagicus profile Photos Vulnerable indian Ocean Mediterranean pacific ocean
The pelagic thresher shark is found in warm and temperate offshore waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea.
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Pelagic Thresher Shark - Alopias pelagicus profile Photos Vulnerable indian Ocean Mediterranean pacific ocean
The pelagic thresher shark reaches lengths of up to ten feet. It is the smallest of the pelagic sharks.
Source: ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes