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|COMMON THRESHER SHARK
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).
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.
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.
The Common Thresher is decreasing in numbers because of overfishing (it is hunted for meat and its fins).
THRESHER SHARK CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
THRESHER SHARK ACTIVITY
BLACKTIP REEF SHARK
BLUNTNOSE SIXGILL SHARK
BROADNOSE SEVENGILL SHARK
GREAT WHITE SHARK
SPINED PYGMY SHARK
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