Blue Shark

Blue Shark

Blue Shark - Prionace glauca

Facts about Blue Sharks

Blue sharks are found in very deep waters. They prefer cooler water though so they are often found in sub tropical areas where it doesn’t get too warm.  It isn’t very often you will see one unless you are diving in the depths of the ocean. Most divers are well aware of what a blue shark looks like and strive to stay as far away from them as possible.

Blue Shark Facts

From time to time you may see a blue shark leap out of the water. They enjoy doing this in order to see what types of foods are on the surface for them to dine upon. They are extremely fast swimmers and so it can be hard to track them. They swim long distances in order to follow the food sources.

They don’t have any set habitat area that they continually return to. They have been known to move thousands of miles in the water in the span of very little time. In addition to looking for food it is believed they do this for mating purposes as well.

Blue sharks are considered to be dangerous and so people are warned to steer clear of them. They have been involved in numerous attacks on people and some of them have resulted in death due to the force of the jaws and teeth that this species of shark has.

They are one of the few species of sharks that stick together in small groups. They have heir own hierarch that is determined by various factors including the sex and size of each member. They are hosts to various types of parasites that live in the water as well.

Food Sources for the Blue Shark

Blue sharks tend to have quite a healthy appetite. Their favorite food is squid but it isn’t always readily available. They will eat fish, mollusks, small sharks, sea birds, and even garbage they find floating around in the water.

Blue shark facts

Blue shark – Prionace glauca / Photo taken by Mark Conlin, NOAA

The Anatomy of a Blue Shark

On average a blue shark will grow to be 12.5 feet in length. They don’t weight much compared to other sharks at a maximum of about 450 pounds. They have a very slender body so many people mistake adult blue sharks for young of other species.

They range in color from a light blue to a deeper shade of it. They may have several shades of blue on their bodies with the darkest colors on the top.

How do Blue Sharks Reproduce?

The mating ritual for blue sharks is very interesting. Some watching it may consider the male to be extremely aggressive. He will be biting hard on the female but it doesn’t hurt her. The skin of females is three times thicker than the male. The biting is done to allow the mating to be completed. It is a type of grip so the two don’t separate before the sperm has been placed inside of the female.

A litter of blue shark pups can be from 4 to more than 130. They are viviparous. The pups are immediately left to take care of themselves once they are in the water and out of their mother’s body.

The Future of the Blue Shark

Conservation status: Near Threatened.

Humans are to blame for the significant drop in the number of blue sharks out there. Millions of them are hunted each year. They are killed to use their body for various types of products. The skin of the blue shark is dried out to make leather out of. The liver is used to remove oil from. If such high numbers of them continue to be killed it won’t be long before they are endangered.

Laws may have to be passed to protect them from hunting to maintain their numbers. They haven’t been successful at all in captivity. They tend to die within a couple of months due to various types of infections from bacteria.