The Blue Shark Fish (Prionace glauca), often known as the big blue shark, is a requiem shark species in the Carcharhinidae family that lives in deep waters in temperate and tropical oceans around the world. The blue shark is distinguished by its rich blue coloration, which contrasts with a clean white belly.

Blue Shark Fish are fascinating open-ocean predators that can be found all over the world, from the tropics to the coldest parts of the ocean. They are actually a pelagic species, spending the majority of their life far from the coast. The common name refers to the shark’s blue skin color, which is uncommon among sharks.

Individual blue sharks are known to be highly migratory, making multiple excursions across entire ocean basins over the course of their lives. Blue sharks are thought to use their huge pectoral fins (horizontal fins that grow out from either side of the body) to ride long currents and conserve energy when migrating, according to experts. These extensive migrations are undertaken by blue sharks in order to reach places with abundant food and possible partners.

Blue shark with the little ones in the water
credit:americanocean.org

Males and females of this species dwell in separate locations for the majority of the year. They only come together for a limited period during the mating season to reproduce via internal fertilization. Males may attack females forcefully during mating, hence females have thick protective skin to protect themselves from male bites.

Distribution and habitat

The Blue Shark Fish has one of the most extensive geographic ranges of any shark and was once one of the most (if not the most) common pelagic sharks on the planet. The blue shark is a popular incidentally caught species in gillnet and longline fisheries targeting other species because of its widespread distribution and dense population structure.

The blue shark is an oceanic and epipelagic shark that can be found in deep temperate and tropical waters up to 350 meters deep (1,150 ft). It may approach the coast in temperate seas, where divers can watch it; nevertheless, it prefers deeper waters in tropical seas. It can be found as far north as Norway and south as Chile. Except for Antarctica, blue sharks can be found off the coasts of every continent.

Its highest concentrations in the Pacific are found between 20° and 50° north latitude, with considerable seasonal variations. It is evenly distributed between 20° N and 20° S in the tropics. It favors water temperatures of 12–20 °C (54–68 °F), but it can be found in water temps of 7–25 °C.

Body Characteristics

  • With a pointed snout, saw-edged teeth, and long, slim pectoral fins, it’s a slim shark.
  • Blue sharks have long pectoral fins and a light body.
  • Blue sharks, like many other sharks, have a counter-shaded body with a deep blue top, lighter sides, and a white underside.
  • Male blue sharks typically reach maturity at 1.82 to 2.82 m (6.0 to 9.3 ft), while female blue sharks reach maturity at 2.2 to 3.3 m (7.2 to 10.8 ft).
blue shark fish been caught by two men in a boat
credit:bbc.com

The blue shark is also ectothermic and has a distinct olfactory sense. Adult females are slightly larger and have thicker skin than males, and the species is sexually dimorphic. At the age of 5 or 6, both sexes reach sexual maturity.

Diets

The blue shark’s food consists primarily of fish such as anchovies, hake, and the eggs of flying fish, squid, and crustaceans, but it also preys on seabirds and has been seen scavenging the remains of dead whales. Sharks have been witnessed and documented herding prey into a dense group from which they may easily feed as a pack. Tuna have been recorded making use of the herding behavior to opportunistically feast on escaping food, which blue sharks may consume.

Different types of sharks in the area, which would ordinarily chase the common prey, had no effect on the observed herding behavior. The blue shark’s ability to swim quickly allows it to readily catch up with prey. It can bite with its triangular teeth.

Spawning

Females reach maturity between the ages of five and six, whereas boys reach maturity between the ages of four and five. Because mature specimens can be accurately sexed based on the presence or absence of bite scarring, courtship is thought to involve biting by the male. Female blue sharks have developed three times the thickness of male skin to adapt to the demanding mating ritual.

Blue shark in the water
credit:americanocean.org

They are viviparous, having a yolk-sac placenta, and have four to one hundred and thirty-five pups every litter. The pregnancy lasts between nine and twelve months. They have a lifespan of up to 20 years.

 

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