Scientific Name: Isurus oxyrinchus
(meaning: sharp nosed)
Common Name: Shortfin Mako Shark, Mako Shark, and Blue Pointer
Distribution and Habitat: Found in offshore temperate and tropical waters worldwide in temperatures ranging from (16 and 26.6 °C (60.8 and 80 °F)). The Shortfin Mako is a pelagic species ranging at depths of 150m (490 ft) to the ocean surface. Although this shark is most commonly found throughout the open ocean it has also been known to inhabit coastal island waters and inlets. This shark is also one of only four endothermic sharks (meaning this shark can maintain thermal homeostasis primarily through internal metabolic processes). Densest populations occurring along the Atlantic from Argentina to the Gulf of Mexico and Nova Scotia. However these sharks are also found thorough out the Pacific, and Indian Oceans. These sharks are also one of the most extreme travelers of the shark world. Some sharks have been known to travel over 58km (36 miles) a day.
Anatomy and Appearance: The Shortfin Mako is cylindrical in shape, with a vertically-elongated tail that assists its highly hydrodynamic lifestyle. This species' color is brilliant metallic blue dorsally and white ventrally, although coloration varies as the shark ages and increases in size. The line of demarcation between blue and white on the body is distinct. The underside of the snout and the area around the mouth are white. Larger specimens tend to possess darker coloration that extends onto parts of the body that would be white in smaller individuals. The juvenile mako differs in that it has a clear blackish stain on the tip of the snout. The Longfin mako shark
very much resembles the Shortfin, but has larger pectoral fins, dark rather than pale coloration around the mouth and larger eyes. The presence of only one lateral keel on the tail and the lack of lateral cusps on the teeth distinguish the makos from the closely related porbeagle sharks of the genus Lamna
. The Shortfin Mako is a fairly large species of shark. An average adult specimen will measure around 3.2 m (10 ft) in length and weigh from 60–135 kg (132–298 lb). Females are larger than males. The largest shortfin mako shark taken on hook-and-line was 600 kg (1,300 lb), caught off the coast of California on June 3, 2013. Larger specimens are known, with a few large, mature females exceeding a length of 3.8 m (12 ft) and a weight of 570 kg (1,260 LB). The longest verified length for a Shortfin Mako caught off France in September 1973, was 4.45 m (14.6 ft).
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: The shortfin mako feeds mainly upon cephalopods, bony fishes including mackerels, tunas, bonitos, swordfish, sailfish, and other large pelagic species. However Makos may also eat other sharks, porpoises, sea turtles, and seabirds. They hunt by lunging vertically up and tearing off chunks of their preys' flanks and fins. Makos swim below their prey, so they can see what is above and have a high probability of reaching prey before it notices. Biting the caudal peduncle
(near the tail) can immobilize the prey. In Ganzirri and Isola Lipari, Sicily
, shortfin makos have been found with amputated swordfish bills impaled into their head and gills, suggesting that swordfish seriously injure and likely kill makos. In addition, this location, and the late spring and early summer timing, corresponding to the swordfish's spawning cycle, suggests that these makos hunt while the swordfish are most vulnerable, typical of many predators.
Note: This image is a stock image taken from online sources, this is not Namyr copyrighted work.