The Lamna ditropis, also known as the salmon shark, is a shark found in the North Pacific. The salmon shark is an apex predator, eating salmon, squid, cod and herring. Their gender distribution differs between the eastern and western Pacific, but the reasons for this have so far been unclear.
The salmon sharks mainly inhabit coastal and offshore continental shelves and island shelf waters, but often swims in the ocean and prefers colder waters. The main habitat depth is about 152 meters from the surface to the water depth. Rarely attacked, but still potentially dangerous.
This species is most common in continental offshore waters,but it has been known to come inshore, sometimes just beyond the breaker zone. It is a great time to know more basic knowledge about salmon shark, including their habitat, growth and reproduction, and their avaerage size.
Salmon Shark General Descriptions
The body of lamna ditropis is spindle-shaped, the trunk is relatively stout, the eyes are round and large, and the snout is blunt; the body is gray on the back and gray on the ventral surface, with many dark spots on the side of the body. A strong swimmer, it has a wide tail that has a double keel. Salmon sharks have long gill slits and possess large teeth.
Salmon sharks stay in groups based on gender and size. The salmon shark is widely distributed in coastal and oceanic environments of the subarctic and temperate North Pacific Ocean. Their preferred temperature range is 2.5 to 24 degrees Celsius. They distributed in the temperate coastal and pelagic regions of the North Pacific Ocean, the southernmost can reach the Sea of Japan and Southern California, and the northernmost can reach Alaska in the United States at 65°N latitude.
They live on Pacific salmon, steelhead trout, Pacific herring, Pollock, sardines, daggertooth, pomfrets, sculpins, and Pacific sauries. They usually hunt by themselves, but may also join feeding groups, consisting of up to 40 individuals.
Salmon sharks are highly migratory, with segregation by size and sex, and with larger sharks ranging more northerly than young. Migration for the salmon shark is ultimately dependent on the concentration of the available prey species. Adult salmon sharks migrate alone or in loose groups of 30 to 40 individuals, following Pacific salmon.
Growth and Reproduction
After spending the summer in the northern part of their range, the salmon shark migrates south to breed. Salmon sharks breed in late summer to early autumn. The internal developmental period in salmon sharks last 9 months. Once the baby sharks are born, they are completely independent, and have to fend for themselves.
- Males mature at 5 years of age and females at 8-10 years.
- Newborns measure about 84-96 cm in length.
- The salmon shark is ovoviviparous, with approximately 2-5 juveniles per litter.
- They can live for between 20 to 30 years.
Salmon Shark Average Size
- Salmon sharks can grow to over 10 feet long, but the average is usually in the 6.5' and 8.6' (2-2.6 m) range. The largest confirmed length of a salmon shark is 10 ft (3 m).
- They can weigh up to 485 lbs-1000 lbs (220 kg-454 kg), the maximum recorded weights of salmon sharks are in excess of 660 pounds.
- They are fast swimmers and can swim up to a speed of 50 mph.
Salmon Shark Fast Facts
|Scientific Name||Average Length||Average Weight||Life Span||Speed||Sexual Maturity|
|Lamna ditropis||6.5' - 8.6' (2-2.6 m)||485 lbs-1000 lbs (220 kg-454 kg)||20 to 30 years||50 mph||Male: 5 years; Female:8-10 years|
The salmon shark (Lamna ditropis) is a species that is sometimes mistaken for the great white shark, as they are very similar in appearance but can be distinguished by their shorter snout and blotchy belly. Another behavioral distinction the salmon shark has from its cousin is that it is far more docile compared to the great white.