The Thresher Shark – The Shark That Hunts With Its Tail

Cross a bullwhip and an ancient war machine and you get a thresher shark. That’s what researchers discovered studying pelagic threshers off the coast of Pescador Island in the Philippines. Using their pectoral fins to quickly slow down, the sharks launch their rear ends over their heads before whipping their long tails into a school of fish. This stuns or kills multiple fish, which the sharks then collect.

Despite the violent nature of their predation method, thresher sharks pose little threat to swimmers and divers, yet their nonthreatening nature toward humans is not reflected in human attitudes toward them. Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the species suffers from declining numbers due in large part to fishermen who target them for their large fins.

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