Alopias vulpinus

English: Fox Shark
Spanish: pez zorro

Named for and easily recognised by their exceptionally long thresher-like tail or caudal finsĀ (which can be as long as the total body length), thresher sharks are active predators; the tail is actually used as a weapon to stun prey. The thresher shark has a short head and a cone shaped nose. The mouth is generally small, and the teeth range in size from small to large.

Bony fish make up 97% of the thresher's diet. They feed mostly on small schooling fish such as menhaden, herring, Atlantic saury, sand lance, and mackerel. Bluefish and butterfish are the most common meal. They also feed on bonito and squid. Thresher sharks encircle schools of fish and then stun the prey with their tails. This is often done in groups and/or pairs. They have also been known to kill sea birds with their tails.

Common thresher sharks are the target of a popular recreational fishery off Baja, Mexico. They also inhabit the waters of the western Caribbean.


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