Like most other large shark species, thresher sharks are not good candidates as permanent residents. The tail was then whipped laterally to one side of a thresher shark's body. The tail-slap occurred with such force that it caused dissolved gas to diffuse out of the water column forming small bubbles that entrained and grew in size (circled in 9–14). The mean speed with which a thresher shark slapped its tail was directly related to its size and the length of its tail (PCL: f1,4  = 17.28, p = 0.001; CDM: f1,4  = 26.94, p = 0.007) (Figure 11). 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Known for their unique tail and interesting hunting habits, Threshers are frequent visitors to Malapascua Island in the Philippines. To assess the trajectory of a thresher shark's tail-slap, strike phases were standardised for all sharks by dividing the arc that formed the travel path of a thresher shark's tail-slap into nine equal time segments, with one trajectory angle measured for each (Figure 3). No, Is the Subject Area "Islands" applicable to this article? The shark's tail then accelerated in a whip as it travelled overhead the length of its body to the tip of its snout (Figures 4, 5). If two distal segments of different lengths are rotated at the same angular speed, the longer one will travel faster. The handling of marine life complied with Bangor University's Research Ethics' framework and ethical policy, and was approved by the College of Natural Sciences' Animal Ethics Committee. Sharon Bellamy. The common thresher is a fairly slender, torpedo-shaped shark and is named for its exceptionally long, thresher-like tail (which can be as long as the total body length). A motion animation (top) represents 3.16 s−1 of an event that was recorded by handheld underwater video camera 19 August 2010. A thresher shark’s long tail isn’t just mesmerizing to watch. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. thresher shark’s hunting behaviour (mouth, caudal peduncle, tail) with respect to time and a fixed reference point. The lunge acceleration, which characterises a preparation phase, may position a thresher shark within reach of the sardines it is preying upon to facilitate stunning them [3]. Because it is cheap, thresher shark meat is the preferred meat for fish balls and seafood tempura. Both types of event took place over several seconds and involved (i) preparation; (ii) strike; (iii) wind-down recovery; and (iv) prey item collection phases, which occurred sequentially. From 61 observations recorded by handheld underwater video camera between June and October 2010, 25 thresher shark shunting events were analysed. When hunting schooling fish, thresher sharks are known to "whip" the water,using its tail like a whip herding and stunning prey. No, Is the Subject Area "Kinematics" applicable to this article? It has long been suspected that thresher sharks hunt with their scythe-like tails but the kinematics associated with the behaviour in the wild are poorly understood. A Decrease font size. The longest recorded event lasted 3.40 seconds and comprised 102 still video images; the shortest lasted 1.13 seconds and comprised 34 video still images. A tail-slap's maximum speed was therefore achieved at the apex of the arc that formed the path of its trajectory (Figure 8-C). 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