Shortfin Mako Shark

Isurus oxyrinchus

shortfinmako.jpgWHAT TO LOOK FOR
A streamlined shark with a conical snout, long caudal keel and large crescentic caudal fin.

COLOR
Metallic blue to dark gray above; white below

SIZE
Males mature when they are about 6.2 ft [1.9 m] in length, and they will grow to at least 9.3 ft [2.84 m] in length. Females mature when they are about 9.1 ft [2.8 m] in length, and will grow to a length of 12.9 ft [3.94 m], possibly longer.

TEETH
Large awl-shaped non-serrated grasping teeth.

HABITAT
Offshore littoral and epipelagic species found in water warmer than 60ºF [16ºC], from surface to at least 500 ft [152 m].

DISTRIBUTION
Circumglobal in temperate and tropical seas .

BIOLOGY
Prey – Fish (including fast-swimming species such as tuna, bonito and swordfish), squid and smaller sharks.
Reproduction – Ovoviviparous. Embryos are ovophagous; smaller siblings are consumed by larger siblings. Litters range from 4 to 6 pups, and size at birth is 1.9 to 2.6 ft [60 to 80 cm].

BEHAVIOR
The shortfin mako shark, like the white shark, is warm-bodied. This is an extremely active shark. It is the fastest of all the sharks and famed for its spectacular leaps from the sea.

DISPOSITION – Hyperactive
Danger to humans – Unprovoked attacks on swimmers have been documented and the sharks attempted to inflict multiple bites. Unprovoked attacks on divers are rare, probably because the shark is usually found well offshore. However, its speed and aggressiveness, particularly around speared fish, indicate that it should be regarded with caution.

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