Like other thresher sharks, they have a few other common names, such as “whiptail” and “long-tailed shark.” Personally, I like the Spanish nickname of “El Zorro.” Guess it doesn’t take a translator to have you guessing what that is in English!
These sharks are warm water surface-dwellers, preferring open ocean but sometimes come near the shallows. You can tell them apart from their relatives by their giant eyes and a groove along the top of their heads. Can’t get a good enough glimpse of the shark to tell the difference? No worries, we’re not expecting you to be an expert!
The bigeye thresher is similar in coloring to its relatives, in that it’s a purple/gray color with metallic hues seen while swimming or out of the water. Its underbelly is a creamy white. They tend to be no bigger than 4 m (13 ft) but some have been measured near 5 m (around 16 ft). The average lifespan is 20 years.
These sharks love pelagic fish that roam their environment; think tuna, herring, and billfish. They also feed on squid, and are known to stun their prey of choice using their long caudal fin. Talk about being creative!
The bigeye thresher shark is ovoviviparous, with the litters (2-4) partaking in ovoophagy (yum, egg eating). These sharks are currently assessed as “Data Deficient” (DD) by the IUCN.
What do you think of the bigeye thresher shark?