A common thresher shark carcass washes ashore on Cape Town Beach

Posted on 17 March 2023

Last week, wildlife and travel photographer Alex Aitkenhead photographed a juvenile common thresher shark that washed ashore at Sunset Beach just before Bloubergstrand.

“It’s not often we get to see this remarkable shark; this is a Common Thresher Shark, using its long tail to stun its prey and they then consume it. Not sure why this juvenile washed up on our shores at Sunset Beach,” Alex shared on social media.

Picture: Alex Aitkenhead / Facebook
Picture: Alex Aitkenhead / Facebook

Thresher sharks are large Lamniformes, which means they are of an order of shark commonly known as mackerel sharks. Common threshers belong to the family Alopiidae that can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans around the world. There are three species in the family, all of which belong to the genus Alopias.

The three biological species are the common thresher, the pelagic thresher and the bigeye thresher.

Picture: Alex Aitkenhead / Facebook

The World Conservation Union has classified all three species of thresher shark as vulnerable to extinction.

Picture: Alex Aitkenhead / Facebook

ALSO READ: Extinct & Endangered: world’s rarest insects captured in microscopic detail

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