Fun Thresher Shark Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Thresher shark facts are interesting
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

Are you interested in learning about Sharks? Let's start with one of its most interesting species: Thresher Sharks, also known as Fox Sharks. They have big eyes, a small mouth, a first dorsal fin, large pectoral fins, caudal fin, and pelvic fins. They also have a small second dorsal fin, beside their tail, and anal fins. They are found in temperate and tropical oceans. They are known for their long tail that is almost half of their total body's length. These sharks are carnivores, but they do not prey on one particular type of animal. Instead, they adjust with whatever is easily available, from fishes to squids. Their skin color varies depending upon their species and water, but each species has its unique characteristic.

Thresher Sharks are ovoviviparous, and reproduce each year. They are very unique because they are the only shark species to have a tail that is so long. They use this to either hit their habitat, or to slap the water and stun the smaller animals. Each species have its own unique characteristic, such as common Thresher is the largest species, and bigeye thresher are called so because of its unusually big eye.

If you are intrigued to read more such interesting animal facts, check out loach and Atlantic cod facts.
 

Thresher Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Thresher Shark?

A Thresher Shark (alopias) is a type of fish.

What class of animal does a Thresher Shark belong to?

Thresher Sharks belongs to the class of Chondrichthyes.

How many Thresher Sharks are there in the world?

The exact number of threshers in the world is still unknown. But, their number have been decreasing due to fishing. A lot of common threshers also die due to climate change and pollution.

Where does a Thresher Shark live?

Thresher Sharks live in the ocean. They mostly choose tropical and temperate water bodies to live in. They are pelagic species, which means that they can live in oceans and in coastal waters, too.

What is a Thresher Shark's habitat?

Thresher Sharks mostly live in oceans, but they can also be found in coastal areas as well. This phenomenon is not common, as they only visit coastal areas to find prey. They are found on Coasts of North America, the North Pacific Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea.

Who do Thresher Shark live with?

Threshers usually live on their own, but also join groups occasionally. The actual reason for their grouping is still unknown. Fishermen find them difficult to catch if they are in groups. Therefore, it helps in keeping their conservation status high.

How long does a Thresher Shark live?

Thresher Sharks live for about 22 years. They grow very slowly compared to other fishes, therefore, they reach maturity between 8 - 13 years.

How do they reproduce?

A thresher can reproduce between the age of 7 - 14. Thresher Sharks are ovoviviparous. This means that they fertilize internally. Eggs are developed inside the body of these sharks, until it hatches on its own, giving birth to baby thresher. Most species of thresher gives birth to 2 -4 sharks, called as 'pups'. The color and size of these pups depends on the mother shark.

What is their conservation status?

The conversation status of a thresher is of Least Concern. Although, the population is found to be decreasing. Since they reproduce slower than other fishes, they face the danger of over-fishing.  Another important problem they face is aquatic pollution. Like other marine animals, these sharks also ingest plastic. Continuous increase in the temperature of oceans has affected the psychology of animals and also affected ecological balance. Fishing also kills a lot of threshers along with other marine animals.  

Thresher Shark Fun Facts

What do Thresher Shark look like?

Thresher shark facts are fun to read.

Thresher Sharks are a special kind of sharks. These sharks can be easily distinguished from other fishes because of their long tail. Their skin color ranges from gray, brown to blue, and purple on the upper side of their body; the underside is of a lighter color. The color usually depends on the species and the water. Different species of threshers have different characteristics, for instance: the bigeye thresher have gigantic eyes, just as the name suggests. One thing that is common for all threshers is their tails, which is long for every species.

How cute are they?

Thresher Sharks are very cute to look at. They have long tails, due to which they do not look as scary as other sharks.

How do they communicate?

Thresher Sharks use body language to communicate as they can't make any noise. Moving their body and opening their jaw are some of the gestures they use to communicate.

How big is a Thresher Shark?

Thresher Sharks can be up to 236 in long, which is about 3 times the size of an aquatic turtle. These sharks are visually different, therefore, can be mistaken for fish too.

How fast can a Thresher Shark swim?

Thresher sharks can swim at an average speed of 30mph. Although, this shark species can whip its tail to an unbelievable speed of 80mph. While catching their prey, these sharks are extremely fast and violent. They stun the fish with its tail before preying on them.

How much does a Thresher Shark weigh?

Thresher Sharks weigh about 700 lb. These sharks (Alopias vulpinus) are not as heavy as others, but most of their body weight consists of their tails. The lengths of their tails are almost equally long as the body.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Thresher sharks do not have the male and female species name, but there are three species of threshers: Vulpinus, Pelagicus, and Superciliocus.

What would you call a baby Thresher Shark?

Baby Thresher Sharks are called pups. They are approximately 44-60 in long at birth.

What do they eat?

Threshers mostly prey on fishes. Bony fishes such as herring, Atlantic saury, cuttlefish, and sand lance, are some of its most common food. They also prey on squids and birds. Thresher sharks use its tail to stun their prey and then they attack it.

Are they dangerous?

Thresher Sharks are smaller than other sharks, due to which they do not prey on humans. Not only do they have a small body, but also a small mouth. Although they are dangerous to other marine lives, they help in maintaining the ecosystem.

Would they make a good pet?

Thresher Sharks are smaller than other sharks in size, but still, they can grow around 250 inches, which will require a huge aquarium to fit. They are aggressive and violent towards other aquatic animals, therefore, it is difficult to keep them with any other fish or animal. Hence, this shark species will not be a good pet.

Did you know...

Thresher Sharks have an extremely long fin with an upper lobe almost the size of the upper body. They are not harmful to human beings but maintain the ecosystem by preying on animals below it in the food chain. It uses its long tail to stun and kill the fishes. Thus, their tails are extremely strong and powerful enough to slice a fish.

Another interesting piece of information about Thresher Sharks is that they jump with joy. Jumping in waters is mostly considered to be an activity that Dolphins do, but even Threshers do that, too. This is said to be confusing to a lot of animals and even human beings.

Why is the Thresher Shark so rare?

Thresher Sharks reproduce slowly, because they are vulnerable to over-fishing in the ocean. Human activities such as fishing, for their fins, liver, skin, and meat, all of which are said to have high commercial value. The skin of these sharks is used to make leather, which is of extremely good quality, another reason fishing is popular. Lastly, pollution and climate change have impacted their health both, directly and indirectly.

All about the Thresher Shark's mouth

Thresher Sharks (shark Alopias vulpinus) have a small head and mouth. The mouth of this species of thresher shark is generally small, with teeth ranging from small to large. They have small yet sharp teeth, with 20 teeth on each side of the upper jaw and 21 on the lower jaw. Their denticles are very small and overlapping, with horizontal blades.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including black dragonfish, and barramundi.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Thresher Shark coloring pages.

Thresher Shark Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Squid, cuttlefish, sea birds

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

2 - 4

How Much Did They Weigh?

500-775 lb (227352 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

tropical and temperate oceans

Where Do They Live?

coasts of north america, north pacific ocean, mediterranean sea

How Long Were They?

125-236 in (320-600 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Chondrichthyes

Genus

Alopias

Family

Alopiidae

Scientific Name

Alopias vulpinus

What Do They Look Like?

Gray, blue, brown, or Purple

Skin Type

Scale

What Are Their Main Threats?

humans

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Sources

biologydictionary.netwww.fisheries.noaa.govwww.sharksider.com

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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