Thresher Sharks Use Tails as Weapons to Stun Prey

Posted: July 11, 2013

By: Benita Matilda [Science World Report]

A new study reveals that thresher sharks use their long tails to stun prey. Simon Oliver of the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project along with his team mates monitored the hunting skill of the thresher sharks off the Pescador Island in the Philippines. This unique hunting style of the thresher sharks was recorded using handheld cameras at a depth of 10-25 meters.

"This is a vulnerable species and if we understand how they use their habitats, we can go about managing and protecting them more effectively," said Oliver, who is also a researcher based at University of Liverpool, to  Guardian.

The video shows how the thresher shark increases its speed while approaching a dense shoal of fish and suddenly pulls in its pectoral fins and raises its tail over the head and slaps the fish. The slaps are so intense that they give rise to bubbles, reports Planet Earth.

One of the quickest slaps made by the thresher shark with its tail was at the speed of 48 miles per hour.

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