Fox Shark: In Attack, Its Tail Is Used To Stun Prey

Today we are here to talk about the Fox Shark, all its characteristics, feeding and reproduction.

In this way, understand that this common name is related to species of solitary behavior.

Fox Shark: In Attack, Its Tail Is Used To Stun Prey
Fox Shark: In Attack, Its Tail Is Used To Stun Prey

The species are part of the Alopiidae family and are found in different places around the world, so let’s understand more below:


  • Scientific name – Alopias vulpinus, A. superciliosus and A. pelagicus;
  • Family – Alopiidae.

Fox shark and general characteristics

First of all, it is important to mention that this common name belongs to a genus composed of three species.

The first would be the common thresher shark whose scientific name is Alopias vulpinus, followed by the big-eyed thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus) and the pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus).

Generally speaking, all these fish have a long tail fin.

The upper lobe, which would be the upper half of the tail, is the same length as the rest of the body.

This tail is used to stun prey that would be small fish.

Other equal characteristics would be the ability to swim quickly and to jump out of the water.

None of the species poses danger to humans because their teeth are small, as is their mouth.

Individuals are also shy and calm.

Also, understand that two species swim in our country’s seas, the big-eyed thresher shark and the common thresher shark.

Also know that fish are different because of their habitat, color and behavior, something that we will understand below:

Fox Shark Species

The common fox shark was cataloged in the year 1788 and is also commonly known as fox, thresher shark, long-tailed fox, fox shark and fox shark.

Thus, the species is marine and reaches a length of 550 cm, in addition to being native to Portugal.

Second, meet the big-eyed fox shark which also goes by the big-eyed fox and was listed in 1841.

The species has a circumglobal distribution, including temperate and tropical regions, which have a depth of up to 700 m.

Individuals of the species reach a weight of 364 kg, as well as about 500 cm in total length.

As a main feature, we must talk about the large eyes that can be seen in young or adult fish.

The large eyes offer the shark a binocular, vertical field of view. Which causes it to see and capture victims from below, using its tail.

There is also the pelagic fox shark that got its common name thanks to the regions in which it inhabits.

Therefore, the tropical pelagic waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean may harbor the species.

A point that differentiates the individuals of this species would be its total length of 3 m, which makes it the smallest member of the genus.

It also reaches 70 kg in weight and the color in the dorsal region would be more “lively” bluish, when compared to the other species.

Finally, fish have a maximum age of 29 years.


The reproduction of the Fox Shark may vary according to the species. But males are believed to be sexually mature from 2 m, when they reach 3 to 6 years of age.

Females can also mature from 2 m in length, but the age would be 4 to 5 years.

In this way, the fish reproduce in the summer and the eggs stay inside the female’s body until they develop.

They give birth to 2 offspring that are born with about 1 m.


The shark’s diet consists of crustaceans and small fish.

You can also eat squid, larger fish such as tuna and anchovies, seabirds and other shark species.

In this way, fish have great persistence in capturing their prey.


So, understand the importance of conservation:

Since 2007, all species of thresher sharks are endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

And since 2004, these species are considered vulnerable to extinction.

Where to find the Fox Shark

When we consider in a general way, the species are in similar depths and habitats.

But, through some research, it was possible to notice that A. vulpinus and A. superciliosus prefer colder waters.

A. pelagicus is found in subtropical and tropical waters.

Another interesting point is that many researchers assume that A. vulpinus is the species that supports the lowest temperatures.

The above assumption arose after researchers observed that this species lives in very deep places.

By the way, understand that these would be social fish that stay in groups of individuals of the same sex. They do this for protection or to capture large victims.

Some individuals can swim close to the surface when chasing prey.

In addition, the fish jump out of the water in order to capture their victims.

Most of the time, sharks are seen swimming alone and staying in the depths of the ocean.

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