Scientific name.......Lamna Ditropis
The Salmon shark shares its generic name, Lamna, with the
The salmon shark and
porbeagle are so similar that they were not
recognized as two separate species until 1947. Generally speaking,
if it lives in the North Pacific, it is a salmon shark; if in the
Atlantic, it is a
porbeagle. The salmon shark shares the frightening
appearance of all the mackerel sharks, However, it differs from the
great white shark in having smooth rather than serrated teeth, and
mako sharks in having a blue-gray rather than an indigo
back. The feature that is found only in the salmon shark and
porbeagle is the secondary keel along the base of the tail. Salmon
sharks are heavy, torpedo-shaped body, short conical snout, long
gill slits. The first dorsal fin is very high and erect, originating
just over or slightly behind the pectoral insertions, Their second
dorsal fin is minute and begins just about over the beginning of the
The maximum length of the Salmon shark can grow up to 10 feet. Males
mature at 5.9 feet, females mature at 7.2 feet. Pups measure from
15.7 inches to 19.6 inches long.
They have large, sharp, smooth pointed teeth.
These sharks have a dark gray back and a white belly. The coloring
changes on the sides and is marked by dark spots and blotches. The
first dorsal fin is dark up to its free rear tip.
As their name implies, the salmon shark prefer to feed on Pacific
salmon, but their diet also includes, herring and sardines. High
body temperature enables these sharks actively to hunt prey in very
cold water. Because of their well designed torpedo-shaped body, they
can chase and capture such fast -swimming prey as the salmon and
mackeral. Unlike most other mackeral sharks, they form schools of 20
to 30 individuals when feeding.
Seasonally migratory ( following prey ). Segregate by age and sex (
adults move further north than young ).
Salmon sharks are found in subarctic waters of North Pacific ( males
common in the west and females in the east ). Also found in Alaska
to California, USA, and from the Bering Sea to Japan. These sharks
commonly occur in cool coastal and oceanic waters from surface to
depths of 740 feet. Like several other species from the Lamnidae
family, they can maintain their body temperature with the help of a
vascular net system which maintains the water temperature around
They are ovoviviparious. Cannibalism in the uterus is common with
this species, i.e. the embryos in the uterus eat the less developed
eggs. There are typically two to four young in each litter.
Potentially dangerous, due to their size. No data found on attacks
to humans as they rarely come to surface and not seen by divers.