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Table of Contents
Enchanted Learning
All About Sharks!

Geologic Time Chart
Introduction to Sharks Introduction to Rays Anatomy Shark and Ray Species Extreme Sharks Extinct Sharks Classification Shark Glossary Shark Index Printables, Worksheets, and Activities

ALL ABOUT SHARKS!
What is a Shark? Shark Information Sheets Shark Printouts to Color Evolution of Sharks Extreme Sharks

Thresher shark COMMON THRESHER SHARK
Alopias vulpinus

Thresher Printout


GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Thresher sharks are Lamniformes (or mackerel sharks) whose tail fin has a greatly elongated upper lobe. They are very strong swimmers who can vaults completely out of the water.

Common threshers have a countershaded body, dark blue-gray above and white underneath. It has small jaws, but can use its tail to corral and even kill fish. The first dorsal fin is much, much bigger than the second; the pectoral fins are curved. Like other mackerel sharks, it has an anal fin, 5 gill slits, 2 dorsal fins, no fin spines, mouth behind the eyes, and no nictitating eyelids. It is a very strong swimmer and can even leap out of the water. It is mostly nocturnal (most active at night).

Thresher shark


SIZE
The Common Thresher shark ranges from 16.5 to 20 ft (5 to 6 m) long.

HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION
The Common Thresher Shark swims from the surface to a depth of about 1,150 feet (350 m). It lives in open tropical and temperate waters, including the eastern and western Atlantic, the central Pacific, and the Indo-west Pacific.

TEETH AND DIET
The Thresher eats squid and fish, corraling them with its elongated tail, stunning them with slaps from it, and catching them with its very sharp (but small) teeth.

THRESHER SHARK ATTACKS
The Common Thresher Shark is not aggressive, but can be provoked. The thresher's large tail can injure divers.

SPEED AND SWIMMING
The Common Thresher Shark a very strong swimmer and can even leap out of the water.

REPRODUCTION
Threshers reproduce via aplacental viviparity; the eggs hatch inside the female. The developing embryos are ovophagous; they will eat smaller, weaker siblings while in the womb. Mature females (at least 10 feet (3 m) long have litters of 4 to 6 pups, bearing live young. These pups are 3.5 to 5 ft (1.1 to 1.5 m) long at birth.

POPULATIONS
The Common Thresher is decreasing in numbers because of overfishing (it is hunted for meat and its fins).

THRESHER SHARK CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Phylum Chordata
SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Order Lamniformes
Family Alopias
Genus Alopias
Species vulpinus
Thresher shark

THRESHER SHARK ACTIVITY
Thresher Printout



Information Sheets About Sharks (and Rays)

Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the shark (or ray) you're interested in isn't here, check the Shark Dictionary.

ANGELSHARK

BASKING SHARK

BLACKTIP REEF SHARK

BLUE SHARK

BLUNTNOSE SIXGILL SHARK

BONNETHEAD SHARK

BROADNOSE SEVENGILL SHARK

BULL SHARK

DOGFISH SHARK

GALAPAGOS SHARK

GOBLIN SHARK

GREAT WHITE SHARK

HAMMERHEAD SHARK

LEMON SHARK

MAKO SHARK

MANTA RAY

NURSE SHARK

PORBEAGLE SHARK

SPINED PYGMY SHARK

TIGER SHARK

THRESHER SHARK

WHALE SHARK



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