Thresher Sharks: Facts You Should Know

Rate this post

Thresher Sharks: Facts You Should Know

Learn surprising facts about thresher sharks

Thresher Shark

Shark Of The Month: Thresher Sharks

Brandon Cole

It’s easy to identify thresher sharks by their extremely long tail, which can be as long as the rest of their body. Despite their relatively large size, thresher sharks eat mostly small fish, but have also been known to eat squid and other invertebrates.

Divers rarely see thresher sharks, but those who have encountered them report that they are harmless, shy and hard to approach. A few species of threshers are some of the few sharks that are endothermic, meaning that they can regulate their body temperature using modified muscles and blood vessels along their flanks and near their eyes. Thresher sharks are also sometimes referred to as “fox sharks.”

Interesting Facts about Thresher Sharks

Where to Find Them: Throughout the world, often in the open ocean. They can tolerate very cold water.
Threat Level: IUCN Red List Vulnerable
Maximum Size: The largest recorded size was almost 19 feet long.

More Interesting Facts: • Threshers have been measured whipping their tails at almost 80 miles per hour. • There are two other species of thresher shark, the bigeye thresher (Alopias superciliosus) and the pelagic thresher (Alopias pelagicus). The IUCN Red List considers all Vulnerable to Extinction. They are one of the few species of sharks targeted for their meat, and they are also commonly caught as bycatch. The U.S. thresher fishery is generally considered to be well managed, but many international fisheries for thresher sharks are not. • Despite their large size, thresher sharks have relatively small litters of two to seven pups. They are viviparous, which means they give live birth, and thresher pups can be more than 3 feet long when born.

Love scuba diving with sharks? So do we. For more, visit the Sharks section of our website.

David Shiffman is a Ph.D. student at the University of Miami’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, where he studies shark ecology and conservation. Shiffman is happy to answer any questions you have about sharks on Twitter (@WhySharksMatter) or Facebook (

You are viewing this post: Thresher Sharks: Facts You Should Know. Information curated and compiled by along with other related topics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here