Blue Shark

By 20/08/2020Fish

Blue Sharks are named like this because of their deep blue coloration. They are the most abundant pelagic shark species in the Atlantic and are found all year around in the Azores.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Latin name:  Prionace glauca
Order: Carchadrichthyes
Family: Cacharhinidae
Length: up to 3.3 m (female), up to 2,8 m (male)
Weight: up to 180 kg (female), up to 55 kg (male)
IUCN Status: Near threatened

 

 

DESCRIPTION

  • Color: Deep blue, lighter on the sides, underside white
  • Head: Very pointed snout, fusiform
  • Dentition: 14 teeth on each side of the upper jaw, 13-15 teeth on each side of the lower jaw
  • Gills: 5 to 7 pairs
  • Caudal Fin: Heterocercal

 

HABITAT

Blue Sharks are encountered solitary in the open ocean, along coastal areas and around seamounts. They spend more of their time in depths of 80 to 220 meters.

DIET

Blue Sharks feed on fish (e.g., herring, silver hake, white hake, red hake, cod, pollock, mackerel, tuna), squid, deep water octopus, and, occasionally, seals. They are also opportunistic feeder and have been documented to feed on dead whales and porpoises. Blues Sharks make seasonal trans-atlantic crossing in search of food.

 

 

Blue shark feeding off dead beaked whale (Mesoplodon spp.) in the water of Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel Island, Azores.

REPRODUCTION

Blue Sharks reach sexual maturity at around 4-5 years and they are viviparous with a yon-sac placenta. They can give birth to up 130 young that usually measure about 30 cm in length. The gestation period is about 10-12 months.

Marylou

About Marylou

Marylou is a Marine Biologist and Master in Oceanography. She is one of our Marine Wildlife Guide at TERRA AZUL. She studied in Canada and Belgium, but is originally from France, and enjoys being out to sea everyday with whales & dolphins.

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