Types of Sharks
The Thresher Shark: Whip-Tailed Shark
These clever sharks use their unique long tails to stun and catch prey. Fish have no chance if a thresher shark enters its path.
Thresher Sharks By the Numbers
FEET, WITH TAIL
HOW TO SPOT A THRESHER SHARK
There are three different kinds of thresher sharks – common, pelagic, and bigeye threshers. While they all have unique qualities that set them apart, they share common traits that clearly set them apart from other sharks. Tap or click on hotspots for more information. EXPLORE THE THRESHER SHARK
Did You Know?
Thresher Sharks Have Some Very Strange Cousins
If a thresher shark went to a family reunion, what a weird party it would be. Thresher sharks have a bizarre mix of relatives, all of which have very unique qualities among sharks.
Threshers are among 15 species that make up the mackerel shark order. Mackerel sharks include several “oddball” relatives like the eerie goblin shark with its long witchlike snout and ghoulish teeth; the basking shark with its comically enormous mouth, which it opens wide as it swims to feed on plankton; and the megamouth shark, which look like a Pac-Man from another planet with its enormous mouth and very short snout.
Thresher sharks, with their freakishly long tails, fit right in. But the mackerel shark order isn’t entirely made up of freaks and geeks – it includes a few more iconic-looking sharks like shortfin makos and great whites.
Compared to other mackerel sharks, thresher sharks have very few teeth. While the great white has 300 dagger-like teeth in its powerful jaws, threshers have relatively weak bites and only about 80 teeth.
The thresher shark shares a trait unique to some mackerel sharks, like the great white, mako and salmon shark: the ability to keep its body warm even in cold water. This allows the thresher shark to exploit habitats that other sharks can’t, which is a distinctive advantage in a competitive ocean environment.