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Threat Level: low
Scientific name.......Lamna Ditropis
The Salmon shark shares its generic name, Lamna, with the porbeagle. The salmon shark and porbeagle are so similar that they were not recognized as two separate species until 1947. Generally speaking, if it lives in the North Pacific, it is a salmon shark; if in the Atlantic, it is a porbeagle. The salmon shark shares the frightening appearance of all the mackerel sharks, However, it differs from the great white shark in having smooth rather than serrated teeth, and from the mako sharks in having a blue-gray rather than an indigo back. The feature that is found only in the salmon shark and porbeagle is the secondary keel along the base of the tail. Salmon sharks are heavy, torpedo-shaped body, short conical snout, long gill slits. The first dorsal fin is very high and erect, originating just over or slightly behind the pectoral insertions, Their second dorsal fin is minute and begins just about over the beginning of the anal fin.
The maximum length of the Salmon shark can grow up to 10 feet. Males mature at 5.9 feet, females mature at 7.2 feet. Pups measure from 15.7 inches to 19.6 inches long.
They have large, sharp, smooth pointed teeth.
These sharks have a dark gray back and a white belly. The coloring changes on the sides and is marked by dark spots and blotches. The first dorsal fin is dark up to its free rear tip.
As their name implies, the salmon shark prefer to feed on Pacific salmon, but their diet also includes, herring and sardines. High body temperature enables these sharks actively to hunt prey in very cold water. Because of their well designed torpedo-shaped body, they can chase and capture such fast -swimming prey as the salmon and mackeral. Unlike most other mackeral sharks, they form schools of 20 to 30 individuals when feeding.
Seasonally migratory ( following prey ). Segregate by age and sex ( adults move further north than young ).
Salmon sharks are found in subarctic waters of North Pacific ( males common in the west and females in the east ). Also found in Alaska to California, USA, and from the Bering Sea to Japan. These sharks commonly occur in cool coastal and oceanic waters from surface to depths of 740 feet. Like several other species from the Lamnidae family, they can maintain their body temperature with the help of a vascular net system which maintains the water temperature around their bodies.
They are ovoviviparious. Cannibalism in the uterus is common with this species, i.e. the embryos in the uterus eat the less developed eggs. There are typically two to four young in each litter.
Potentially dangerous, due to their size. No data found on attacks to humans as they rarely come to surface and not seen by divers.
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