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Blue shark

Scientific name: Prionace glauca
This species has a Blue sharkbright blue body, with a white underside. It has a pointed snout with long pectoral fins on the sides of a streamlined body. Blue sharks have triangular, serrated teeth and large eyes. Its sleek, tapered body makes it a graceful swimmer. Its elongated caudal fin (tail) provides swimming power as the tail moves side-to-side.

The Blue Shark is pelagic, open ocean species. They inhabit tropical, subtropical, and temperate seas worldwide. They are voracious predators, hunting on schools of fish including anchovies, sardines, herring and squid. They are also known to scavenge prey and are sometimes found around whale carcasses, leading to their alternative name, the blue whaler. Usually they swim slowly, although they are capable of rapid movement when hunting. They are also probably among the fastest fish. Estimates of their speed varies; some say that they can swim at about 60 miles per hour (97 kph), while more conservative estimates are about 22 mph (35 kph). There hasn't been enough experimentation on their speeds to have an definitive answer.

Blue shark
Although preferring warmer waters, blue sharks chase fish and squid to depths of 600m (2,000 ft), enduring cold water and great pressures to feed on their favorite prey.

A nomadic species, they can travel hundreds of miles each year. They conserve energy by riding the North Atlantic Gyre on their annual migrations of around 3,000km (1,800 miles).

They are not considered dangerous to humans, although they have been implicated in attacks on survivors of ship or air disasters.

Blue Sharks are a viviparous species. Females give birth to 25-50 pups, (although a litter of 135 individuals was once recorded) after a gestation period of 9-12 months.

Although blue sharks are one of the fastest growing, most abundant sharks, they are heavily over fished. They are commonly fished for their fins, which are used in the production of shark-fin soup. They may also end up as bycatch in the swordfish and tuna fishery.

Statistics: The largest recorded blue shark was 3.83m, but females’ average 2.76m and males 2.46m.

Blue Shark Classification:

  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata
  • SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
  • Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
  • Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
  • Order Carcharhiniformes
  • Family Carcharhinidae
  • Genus Prionace
  • Species glauca


Shark Info Sheet
Basking shark
Blue shark
Bronze whaler shark
Bull sharks
Dogfish shark
Dusky shark
Great hammerhead
Great White shark
Grey Reef Shark
Horn shark
Leopard shark
Oceanic whitetip
Salmon shark
Sand tiger sharks
Scalloped hammerhea-
Shortfin mako
Sixgill shark
Sleeper shark
Tiger shark
Whale shark
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