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Shortfin Mako Shark

The Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus—meaning "sharp nose") is a large mackerel shark. It is commonly referred to as the mako shark together with the longfin mako shark(Isurus paucus).

DescriptionEdit

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 (130–300 lb). Females are larger than males. The largest "mako" taken (not verified between the two species) on hook-and-line was 505.8 kg (1,115 lb). 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 (1,300 lb). The longest verified length for a Shortfin Mako caught off France in September 1973, was 4.45 m (14.6 ft). A specimen caught off of Italy, and examined in an Italian fish market in 1881, was reported to weigh an extraordinary 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) at a length of 4 m (13 ft). Growth rates appear to be somewhat more accelerated in the Shortfin Mako than they are in other species in the lamnid family.

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 color that extends onto parts of the body that are 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.

HabitatEdit

The shortfin mako inhabits offshore temperate and tropical seas worldwide. The closely related longfin mako shark, Isurus paucus, is found in the Gulf Stream or warmer offshore waters.

It is a pelagic species that can be found from the surface down to depths of 150 m (490 ft), normally far from land though occasionally closer to shore, around islands or inlets. One of only four known endothermic sharks, it is seldom found in waters colder than (61 °F).

FoodEdit

The shortfin mako feeds mainly upon cephalopods, bony fishes including mackerels, tunas, bonitos, and swordfish, but it may also eat other sharks, porpoises, sea turtles, and seabirds.

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