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Shortfin mako shark

Shortfin mako sharkScientific Name:Isurus oxyrinchus
Makos are mackerel sharks that are incredibly fast swimmers and can also leap out of the water. They are sought after game fish. Mako is a Maori word.

The short-finned Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) has a conical snout, and long gill slits. It is pelagic but occasionally goes inshore. It is dark gray-blue on top and white on its belly. It is also known as the bonito and the blue pointer.

They are found worldwide in temperate and tropical seas. Makos range from the surface to relatively deep waters. They are pelagic oceanic swimmers, but are occasionally found inshore. In warm, tropical oceans, they swim deep below the surface as they prefer cool water (about 65°F (18.5°C)). They are found off the island of Tahiti at depths of 650-1,300 feet (200-400 m). The short-finned Mako migrates about 1550 miles (2500 km) seasonally.

Makos eat schooling fish, including tuna, herring, mackerel, swordfish, and porpoise. They are opportunistic feeders, eating just about anything. They also prey on some species of dolphin.

The Mako's teeth are long, thin, and sharp. This enables the shark to catch slippery fish, the mainstay of its diet.

Sharks teeth are located in rows which rotate into use as needed. The first two rows are used in obtaining prey, the other rows rotate into place as they are needed. As teeth are lost, broken, or worn down, they are replaced by new teeth that rotate into place. They are considered to be dangerous to humans although there are few reliable records of attacks. A formidable oceanic predator, it has been estimated that it can swim at speeds of up to 72km/h.

Makos reproduce via aplacental viviparity. The pups are cannibalistic in the womb. On average, 10 -12 pups are born in each litter and are about 2 feet (0.6 m) long at birth.

These sharks are taken in large numbers by longline fleets worldwide, especially in the eastern North Atlantic by Spanish swordfish fleets. Their conservation status is one for concern but hard to quantify and they are considered to be vulnerable by the IUCN

Statistics: Short-finned Makos average 5-8 feet (1.5-2.5 m) long but can reach 12 feet (3.7 m) long, about weighing 1,000 pounds (450 kg).

Mako Shark Classification:
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata
  • SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
  • Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
  • Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
  • Order Lamniformes
  • Family Lamnidae
  • Genus Isurus
  • Species: oxyrinchus - the Shortfin Mako (also known as the bonito and the blue pointer) Paucus - the Longfin Mako


Shark Info Sheet
Basking shark
Blue shark
Bronze whaler shark
Bull sharks
Dogfish shark
Dusky shark
Great hammerhead
Great White shark
Grey Reef Shark
Horn shark
Leopard shark
Oceanic whitetip
Salmon shark
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Shortfin mako
Sixgill shark
Sleeper shark
Tiger shark
Whale shark
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