Porbeagle shark belongs to the shark order Lamniformes or mackerel sharks. Scientific name of the species is Lamna nasus. It is an inhabitant of cold and temperate parts of the oceans, especially North Atlantic. The shark is common in both the hemispheres.
It has torpedo shaped body, pointed at the head and tail but thicker in the middle portion. It has a powerful and robust body structure. The shark is an active haunter and feeds itself with different types of fishes and other smaller marine animals.
Size and Weight
A Porbeagle shark is a medium sized creature. The typical length of a mature shark is about 8.2 ft or 2.5 m. the average body weight of a mature specimen can be around 300lb or 135 kg. Rare specimens of bigger size also had been recorded by some. The largest recorded size is 12 ft. Females generally grow larger than the males. The sharks of the northern hemisphere generally grows larger than their southern cousins.
Porbeagle sharks generally do not like warm waters. They live in the temperate and cold zones of the North and South Atlantic. Some also can be seen in the cooler water of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. They prefer a temperature range of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.
The shark loves to dwell on the fish rich waters of the continental shelves of North America and Europe. Some of these can go farther south into the Mediterranean Sea. Some may go farther down following the cold streams during the winter.
It can be found in the oceans at a depth between 100m to 1300m (330 to 4200 ft). In the fishing banks they come very near to the shores following fish schools. In this areas, the shark can be seen in the waters as shallow as 1 m (3ft) in depth.
Anatomy and Description
A Porbeagle shark has a spindle shaped body. It is pointed in both sides. The streamlined body helped it to go fast and smooth in the water.
The skin color is grey on the top side. It fades into white on the bottom. That top grey, bottom white color scheme is ideal for camouflaging. It is because the color of the sea bottom is dark but the surface looks white.
The shark has a long, pointed snout. Nostrils are small and “S” shaped. There are five gill openings just above the pectoral fin. There are 28-29 teeth in upper jaw and 26-27 in the lower jaw. A Southern Hemisphere dweller Porbeagle has more teeth. The reason of which is still unknown.
They have usual shark like fins. There is a characteristic long and vertical dorsal fin at the back. The pectoral fins and caudal fin are longer. The 2nd dorsal and the anal fin is small in size. The pair of pelvic fins is also fall in the small category.
The most important internal organ of this shark is its liver. It can be 25% of its entire body weight. It is full with oil. The oil is lighter than water. So, it helps to make the animal buoyant. It is also storage of excess body fat.
A Porbeagle shark eats fishes and other marine vertebrates and invertebrates. Their favorite food is bony fishes. The shark can be found in areas full with fish.
It’s streamlined body and powerful fins help it to chase down the fast oceanic open water fishes like mackerel, herring, lancet, tuna etc. they also often forage to the sea bed to get the bottom dwellers like icefish, cod, flatfish, sand lances etc.
Squids and octopuses are also being eaten regularly. The shark also often eats other invertebrates like lobsters, mollusks, crabs etc. Smaller sharks like dogfishes and top sharks are also not safe from a Porbeagle.
|Porbeagle shark info|
The season of mating is September to November. Unlike, other sharks, there is no six month difference between the season of mating between the North and South hemispheres. So, season or temperature has very minor role in it.
The egg of a porbeagle shark is hatched inside the mother’s body. The embryos were carried by the pregnant female for a period of 8-9 months. It is called the gestation period. During this period the babies inside the mother’s body get nourishment from yolk sacks.
The size of a newborn cub is within 60-70 cm (23-26 inch). The weight of the just born cub rarely exceeds 5kg (11lb). It grows about 3 inches per month. The average litter size is four. Sometimes, it can be any number in between 1 to 5.
Porbeagle Shark Attack
Like most other sharks, porbeagle sharks tend to avoid humans. So, there is no unprovoked attack ever recorded by them. But the shark is a powerful animal and if provoked can cause considerable damage. Most of the porbeagle attack cases are due to provocation of some sorts.
Porbeagle sharks are killed for food and sport. The meat is most valuable among the sharks in the market. The meat is prized in many European countries. There is also some demand in USA and Japan. The fin is in high demand in the East Asian countries. As a result the shark is targeted heavily by the commercial fishing.
Commercial fishing has resulted in rapid decline of the number of the shark in the North Atlantic. The shark is in the vulnerable list globally by IUCN. In the North Atlantic it is listed among the critically endangered. Efforts are being made by governments to regulate the fishing to save the porbeagle shark from extinction.
Some Quick Porbeagle Shark Facts
- The name “pobeagle” probably came from “porpoise” and “beagle”. But there are some debates regarding the origin of the word.
- The shark has some more common names like blue dog, bottle-nosed shark, beaumaris shark, Atlantic mackerel shark etc.
- They are migratory in nature. They move from north to south and vice versa in summer and winter. A shark generally travels 500- 1000 km (about 300-600 mi).
- Pobeagles are one of the rare species of fishes who have been seen to play with objects. The play behavior is more apparent in groups. They chase each other playfully and toss things floating in the ocean.
- The shark dives from surface to bottom repeatedly to catch prey for feeding. So, they can target all the sea creatures from the sea bed to the surface.
- Porbeagle sharks can generate body heat by using the powerful muscles. The heat generated by muscle action is effectively circulated through the blood vessels. Warm blood helps them to be faster and to live in cold waters. The process is known as thermoregulation.
- They are notorious for their habit of stealing hooked fish from lines. Sometimes they also damage light fishing gears after being caught accidentally.
- The shark is closely related to salmon shark. Scientists refer the two as “sister species”.
- Recently a huge porbeagle shark was caught by a fisherman of Cornwallis, UK. The creature was 9ft long. The weight of the shark, as reported, was 450 lb!
Watch the documentary video about porbeagle shark made by National Geographic.
Learn more about different types of sharks from our website. You can visit some more interesting shark info pages in our site like these listed below:-
Port Jackson shark
Brown banded bamboo shark
There are more if you want to browse our website. We hope that you will understand that sharks are beautiful creatures not some mindless ferocious demons as popular culture tends to show.