Alopias vulpinus

Distinguishing Characteristics:

  • Enormous, scythe-like caudal fin about half the total length of the shark
  • Moderately large eyes
  • Color from brown to black on top, white below

Habitat: Usually found in the open ocean, but also seen in shallow inshore water, including bays; most abundant within 40 miles of the shore

Size: To about 20 feet

Note: The common thresher shark uses its long tail to herd fish and then to stun and kill them.

In this video, a thresher shark uses its tail to stun and catch fish. (Source: Discovery Channel )