Pelagic Thresher Shark
Scientific name.........Alopias Pelagicus
The pelagic thresher shark have a curved whip-like caudal fin as
long as their bodies, fairly large eyes, small mouths, very narrow
head ,with straight forehead and arched profile, no labial furrows.
Large pectoral, pelvic, and first dorsal fins,( pelagic thresher's
first dorsal fin is closer to the pectoral fins compared to other
thresher sharks ) tiny second dorsal and anal fins.
The maximum size of these sharks can grow up to 11 feet long; tail
comprises half the total length. The pups are about 3 1/3 feet long
It has at least 30 rows of small teeth in each jaw; all the teeth
bear a distinct cusp let in the tooth notch.
Pelagic threshers have a dark, counter shaded body grading from gray
above to white on the underbelly.
Prey unknown, presumably small fishes and squid.
Poorly-known, active, strong swimmer. probably migratory. May
repeatedly leap out of the water.
Pelagic threshers are found in Indo-Pacific: South Africa to
Australia, Tahiti, China, Japan, USA, Mexico and Galapagos. They are
oceanic, and widespread in tropical and subtropical waters, the
pelagic thresher is commonly observed far from land, swimming at the
surface. It also frequents the seaward edges of coral reefs and
submarine seamounts. Occasionally it makes excursions to depths as
great as 490 feet.
Their estimated longevity is 17.4 years for males and 28.6 for
Pelagic threshers are ovoviviparous, embryos are cannibalistic in
the uterus and only two live pups are born. No data is available on
These sharks are harmless and shy of divers.
Becoming less common in some areas because of heavy fishing.