- A large, graceful, slim shark with large eyes.
- Usually dark blue in color with unmistakably long pectoral (side) fins.
- Name comes from their blue coloration, unique among sharks.
- Males reach a maximum length of 12 feet but usually around 9 feet in length.
- Females reach a length of 7 feet in length.
- Mature females often have bite scars from mating.
- Distribution throughout worldwide oceans.
- Live in temperate and tropical seas.
- Found in the open ocean far from the coasts.
- During most of year males and females live in different regions of ocean.
- Travel long distances to come together briefly during mating season.
- Mating is via internal fertilization.
- Males may bite females aggressively during mating so females have thick protective skin.
- Females give birth to live young after 9-12 months.
- Litters can be up to 100 pups, though rarely that large.
- Primarily small squid, as well as crustaceans, small to large fish, seabirds, and even other, smaller species of sharks.
- Orcas, larger sharks, such as the great white shark and shortfin mako shark.
- Blue sharks are possibly the most wide-ranging shark in the world.
- The blue shark can travel tens of thousands of miles in a year, and can travel across whole ocean basins multiple times in their lifetime.
- They use their large pectoral fins to ride the currents to conserve energy while migrating.
Sources: Sharks of the World: An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date; Oceana; Newfoundland Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture; NOAA SWFSC; Sharks.org
Photo: Walter Heim