Largest sharks in the world – Thresher shark

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 in Size


Thresher Shark

Also known as the thrasher shark, this big-biting long tailed beast is a frequent visitor to the world’s tropical oceans.


How big can it get?

The common thresher is the largest of its family, growing as long as 6 metres (20-feet). It also weighs as much as half-a-ton. Approximately one third of its bodyweight is accounted for by a large, rainbow-shaped tail, although this beast is anything but bottom-heavy.


What does it eat?

It enjoys a buffet of seafood delights, including tuna, mackerel, squid, cuttlefish, and crustaceans. Seabirds occasionally find themselves on the menu too.


How does it hunt?

It might look a little odd but that giant tail is the perfect piece of cutlery when it comes to dinner time. The shark uses it to whip-up a mini whirlpool when schools of fish swim nearby. The disorientated shoal can then be snapped up in one mouthful. 


How dangerous is it?

For the most part, thresher sharks avoid humans and as such there are very few reported cases of attacks.


How many are left?

Unfortunately, as with a large number of shark species, population numbers have been decimated by over-fishing and slow reproduction rates which has led to the thresher shark being categorised as vulnerable.


Anything else?

Despite weighing half-a-ton, the thresher is one of the most slender and muscular of shark species. Not only can it torpedo through the seas but it can also leap out of the water – its entire body clearing the surface – making it perhaps the most acrobatic too.


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