Science’s website has a short video clip showing a Thresher Shark using its long tail to slap at a school of small fish. There are 4 phases: preparation, strike, wind-down recovery and collection of the prey. It’s difficult to tell from the video whether the shark is actually stunning its prey, or separating it from the group to make it easier to pick off. Either way, this tactic is far more efficient than trying to hunt the fish down individually.
The video was taken near Pescador Island in the Philippines and you can see it on Science’s website. You can also read the paper – Thresher Sharks Use Tail-Slaps as a Hunting Strategy.
I’ve been lucky enough to dive with them several times down at Malapascua with Trevor and Andreas of Thresher Shark Divers, from whose website I borrowed the photo above.