A fast-moving cold water predator
The Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) is a species of mackerel shark in the family Lamnidae. It can be found widely in the cold and temperate marine waters of the North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere. It is close relatives of the Salmon shark and is also a relative of the Great White shark. It is an opportunistic hunter. The Porbeagle is a fisherman’s target.
Common Name– Mackerel
Status: IUCN Red List Vulnerable
Average Size and Length: Up to 12 feet (they are smaller in the South Pacific)
Average Weight: Up to 550 pounds
Current Rare Mythical Sightings: Their name is thought to originate from their porpoise shaped bodies and their beagle-like hunting abilities.
Teeth and Jaw: The Porbeagle has moderately large blade-like teeth with lateral cusp-lets, which are small bumps that appear to be mini teeth on either side of the tooth. The first upper lateral teeth have nearly straight cusps.
Head: Sharp pointed snout and large, black eyes. S-shaped nostrils.
Dermal Denticles: Dermal denticles are flat and small with three teeth of which the median is the longest. There three ridges separated by valleys on each denticle. The skin feels soft and velvet-like.
Tail: Crescent caudal
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Porbeagle can be found across the North Atlantic as far north as Iceland and northern Norway, and I cooler waters around the Southern Hemisphere. They prefer cool water anywhere from 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) and below. They can be found on continental shelves and inshore, and down to a depth of 1,200 feet.
Diet: The Porbeagle prefers to eat bony fish like mackerel and herring, but more interestingly is that they swallow the fish whole. It uses its long sharp teeth to spear its prey. They are also known to eat dogfish.
Ram-Suction Index: Ram
Aesthetic Identification: The Porbeagle appears to be dark grey or blue in color on the back and fading to pale dusky (South Pacific) or white underneath (North). There is a white area or smudge on the rear dorsal fin.
Biology and Reproduction: The Porbeagle reaches sexual maturity at 5 ½ feet in males, and 7 feet in females. They are ovoviviparous and gestation is between 8 and 9 months. They mate during late summer and early fall.
Porbeagles can have anywhere from 2-6 pups, but usually have 4. They are around 2-3 feet when born.
Porbeagles live 40 or more years.
The Porbeagle has two keels on its caudal fin, these aid in propulsion.
The Porbeagle is endothermic, or warm-blooded and can raise its body temperature by about 20 degrees.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Porbeagle is migratory, they move inshore and closer to the surface in the summer, and offshore to deeper waters during the winter season.
The Porbeagle does segregate by age and sex.
The Porbeagle is inquisitive and curious, and will approach boats and divers, but they generally aren’t aggressive towards them. Porbeagle Sharks can live alone or in small schools and are one of the only sharks proven to exhibit playful behavior. This involves rolling around near the surface or playing with random objects. Porbeagle Sharks have even been caught chasing each other.
Speed: The Porbeagle may not look like it, but it is one of the fastest swimmers in the sea. Porbeagles jump fully out of the water.
Porbeagle Future and Conservation: The only regulation of Porbeagle catches in the Southern Hemisphere is New Zealand’s total allowable catch (TAC) of 249 tons per year, instituted in 2004. They are unfortunately a known game fish in the UK.
Porbeagle Recorded Attacks on Humans: ISAF identifies 2 non-fatal unprovoked attacks on humans.