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Australian Wildlife

  Bigeye Thresher Shark (Alopias superciliosus)





Bigeye Thresher Shark | Alopias superciliosus photo
Bigeye thresher caught by longline.

Image by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



FISH FACTS

Description
The Bigeye Thresher is a large thresher with very large eyes. It has a long upper tail lobe almost half the total length of the shark. The pectoral fins are broad and curved. The first dorsal fin is located further back than on other thresher sharks - well behind the pectoral fins. It has a notched or helmeted contour of head. The pelvic fins are nearly as large as the first dorsal fin. The body is purple grey above with cream underside. There are three species of thresher sharks recorded from Australian waters - the other two are the Pelagic Thresher and the Thresher Shark which both have smaller eyes.

Size
length to 4.8m. Weight to 364kg.

Habitat
coastal waters, continental shelves, open ocean to depth of at least 500m

Food
Feeds on fish and squid. The long tail is used to herd fish and then stun them.

Breeding
Ovoviviparous with two pups per litter. The pups are born in open water and are under 1m long at birth.

Range
The Bigeye Thresher Shark is found in the Western Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. It is found off the northwestern coast of Australia.



Classification
Class:Chondrichthyes
Order:Lamniformes
Family:Alopiidae
Genus:Alopias
Species:superciliosus
Common Name:Bigeye Thresher Shark

Relatives in same Genus
  Pelagic Thresher (A. pelagicus)
  Thresher Shark (A. vulpinus)