About This Fish

Porbeagle Shark


The porbeagle (Lamna nasus) is a cartilaginous fish which belongs to the Family Lamnidae under Order Lamniformes of class Elasmobranchii. It occurs on both sides of the Atlantic and in the south Pacific and Indian Oceans. It inhabits waters down to a depth of 1,360 meters but is most common around continental shelf or near the shelf edge from the surface to depths of 200 meters.



The porbeagle is a very stout-bodied shark with a fusiform shape. The dorsal coloration is a medium to dark gray or slate which extends to the base of the pectoral fin while the underside is white. The free rear base of the first dorsal fin is abruptly light gray or white. The eyes are large and black without nictitating membranes. The small "S"-shaped nostril is present which is positioned in front of and below the level of the eye. The mouth is large and strongly curved with moderately protrusible jaws. The pectoral fin is long and narrow. The first dorsal fin is large and high with a rounded apex and it originates just behind the pectoral fin base. The pelvic fin is much smaller than the first dorsal fin. The second dorsal and anal fins are smaller. The sides of the caudal peduncle are expanded into prominent lateral keels. A second shorter pair of keel is present below the main keel. The caudal fin is large and crescent-shaped with the lower lobe almost as long as the upper lobe. A deep ventral notch is present near the tip of the upper caudal fin lobe. The skin is soft and covered by tiny flattened dermal denticles. The porbeagle shark mainly feeds on schooling fish such as mackerel, herring, cod, hake, lancetfish, redfish and haddock. It also consumes shellfish, smaller sharks such as some dogfish species and squid. It is preyed upon by orcas and larger sharks such as white sharks. The female reaches sexual maturity at about 217 cm in length and about 13-19 years of age while the male at about 174 cm in length and 8 years of age. The young are born in the late winter and spring. The female produces 1-5 pups and generally produces 4 pups that are between 60 and 75 cm long at birth. It grows up to 3.7 m in length and 250 kg in weight. It can live up to 45 years.


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