The Shortfin Mako Shark, also known as Isurus oxyrinchus, is one of the fastest and most aggressive sharks in the ocean.
With its streamlined body, pointed snout, and metallic blue sides, this pelagic species is easily recognizable.
Shortfin Mako Sharks are found in all tropical and temperate seas worldwide, making them one of the most widely distributed shark species.
Despite their impressive appearance and hunting abilities, Shortfin Mako Sharks are unfortunately facing significant threats.
The species is classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List due to overfishing, bycatch, and habitat loss.
The shark’s highly migratory nature and long gestation period also make it difficult for populations to recover. As a result, conservation efforts have been implemented to protect this species, including gear restrictions and the Shark Conservation Act.
Table of Contents
Appearance and Anatomy
Shortfin Mako Shark is a large, predatory shark that lives in the open ocean. It is one of the fastest sharks and one of the fastest fish on the planet.
The Shortfin Mako Shark has a streamlined body that allows it to swim at high speeds. It has a pointed snout and a crescent-shaped tail.
Its body coloration ranges from blue-gray to deep blue dorsally and is white ventrally. The metallic blue sides of the shark are one of its most distinguishing features.
The shark has five to six gill slits that are located on the sides of its head.
The pectoral fins of the Shortfin Mako Shark are long and narrow, and they are used for steering and maneuvering.
The dorsal fin is located on the shark’s back, and the anal fin is located on its underside. The shark’s body temperature is higher than the surrounding water, which allows it to swim at high speeds.
The Shortfin Mako Shark has long slender teeth that are designed for catching and holding onto prey.
The teeth are arranged in rows, and as the front teeth wear down or fall out, they are replaced by teeth in the back rows.
The teeth of the Shortfin Mako Shark are sharp and serrated, which allows the shark to slice through its prey.
The eyes of the Shortfin Mako Shark are larger than the eyes of other sharks. This gives the shark better vision, which is important for hunting prey.
The shark’s eyes are located on the sides of its head, which gives it a wide field of vision.
The Shortfin Mako Shark has a nictitating membrane, which is a thin, translucent eyelid that protects the eye while the shark is hunting or feeding.
Habitat and Range
The Shortfin Mako Shark is a highly migratory species that occurs in all temperate and tropical ocean waters worldwide.
They prefer to live in the open ocean, which is also known as the pelagic zone.
These sharks are well adapted to living in the open ocean, with their streamlined body and powerful tail that enables them to swim at high speeds.
Migration and Distance
Shortfin Mako Sharks are known for their long-distance migrations. They can travel up to 1,000 miles in a single month, making them one of the most migratory shark species.
These migrations are often associated with changes in water temperature and food availability.
Coastal and Pelagic
Although Shortfin Mako Sharks are primarily a pelagic species, they can also be found in coastal waters.
In fact, they have been observed in waters as shallow as 30 meters. However, they are more commonly found in deeper waters, ranging from the surface to depths of around 500 feet.
Behavior and Diet
Shortfin Mako Sharks are known for their aggressive behavior and their ability to swim at high speeds, making them one of the fastest sharks in the ocean.
They are also known for their unique hunting techniques and their diverse diet.
Hunting and Predators
Shortfin Mako Sharks are apex predators and have few natural predators. Larger sharks may prey on smaller Shortfin Mako Sharks, but they are generally not a primary food source for other marine animals.
These sharks use their speed and agility to hunt their prey, which includes fish such as mackerel, swordfish, and tuna, as well as squid and small porpoises.
Prey and Cannibalism
Shortfin Mako Sharks have a diverse diet and are known to eat a variety of marine animals.
They primarily feed on fish such as mackerel, swordfish, and tuna, but they will also eat squid and small porpoises.
While they are not known to be cannibalistic, there have been reports of larger Shortfin Mako Sharks attacking and eating smaller individuals.
In terms of lifespan, Shortfin Mako Sharks are known to live up to 29 years in the wild. They are found in temperate and tropical waters around the world, preferring open-ocean habitats.
Blue Sharks are known to be a common prey item for Shortfin Mako Sharks, and they have been observed feeding on them in the wild.
The Shortfin Mako Shark belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Chondrichthyes, Order Lamniformes, Family Lamnidae, and Genus Isurus. Its scientific name is Isurus oxyrinchus.