Long-tailed thresher shark

The long-tailed thresher shark, Alopias vulpinus, is a thresher shark inhabiting tropical and temperate waters worldwide. Like all thresher sharks, it has a very long upper lobe of the caudal fin, sometimes as long as the body. Its body is brown or grey with a white underside. They can grow to about 25 ft in length and 750 lb. Thresher sharks often hunt in groups or pairs, stunning their prey with their tails before feeding on it. They mostly eat other fish and squid, but have been known to kill seabirds as well.

Thresher sharks are highly migratory, moving northward in the spring in order to breed. They are oviparous and litters contain two to six pups, born five feet long.

Long-tailed thresher sharks are consumed as a food fish in many countries and prized as a game fish. Their hides are used for leather. They are not considered dangerous to humans, but are considered a nuisance to mackerel fishermen, due to their propensity to become tangled in fishing nets. Fully grown threshers have no known predators other than humans.

Other common names for long-tailed thresher sharks include “Thintail thresher”, “Common thresher”, “Fox shark”, “Sea fox”, “Swiveltail”, “Spindletail”, and “Thrasher”.