Meet the Species: Blue Sharks

These sleek, deep-sea divers specialize in big litters and long journeys.


Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Matt Potenski

Meet the blue shark (Prionace glauca), a deepwater denizen of tropical and temperate oceans the world over. You can find it as far north as Norway and as far south as Chile.

Fully grown males can reach a bit more than 9 feet (2.7 meters) long, a bit stunted alongside the females, which can top 10 feet (3 meters). They'll cruise anywhere from the surface, especially in cooler seas, to about 1,150 feet (350 meters) down.

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This shark with the wide-eyed, slightly panicked look and slender frame is aces-up for long-haul journeys. Its migratory ways can take it from New England all the way down to Brazil.

Squid, octopus, lobster, shrimp, crabs -- blue sharks aren't terribly picky about their dining fare.

Furthermore, they know a thing or two about giving their species a chance. They give birth to live young and are known for their large litters: more than 100 pups, in some cases!

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The slender fish have more to fear from us then we do from them. They're not much of a threat to humans -- implicated in just a handful of attacks over hundreds of years -- but by contrast are frequent victims of the fishing industry.

Check out this footage of a deep-diving blue shark, some 950 feet (290 meters) beneath the surface, captured by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute: