With a tail that can be long as its body, the Thresher Shark attacks its prey with violent whip like motions.
This behaviour has been suspected by researchers, but only recently has it been caught on film. The tail is used to stun, maim or even kill the prey, with the shock-wave created by the momentum also stunning surrounding fish.
It is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation as these sharks hunt mainly smaller fish such as sardines. This makes the whip mechanism much more efficient at catching multiple fish with a single blow, as opposed to one fish at a time the shark would tend to catch with its jaws.
The tail was caught moving at up to 80 km/h, spontaneously heating and even boiling small areas of water near the very tip of the tail due to the extreme forces involved.
Octavio is the Director of the Gulf of California Marine Program.
He is an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
(SIO) and a professional photographer associate with the International
League of Conservation Photographers.
Dr. Aburto obtained his
PhD at the Center of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at SIO and was
honored with the Jean Fort Award by the University of California, San
Diego for his significant contribution to an issue of public concern
through his doctoral research. As a Kathryn Fuller and Hellman Fellow,
his research and photographs have focused on marine protected areas and
commercially exploited marine species in Mexico, Belize, Costa
Rica, Ecuador and the U.S. His photographs have been part of several
conservation projects worldwide and have won international photography
contests including a gold place in the Our World Underwater 2016. Thanks Nubbsgalore