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.
Short-finned Makos average 5-8 feet (1.5-2.5 m) long but can reach 13 feet (3.9 m) long, about weighing 1,000 pounds (450 kg).
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION
Short-finned Makos are found world-wide 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).
DIET AND FEEDING HABITS
Makos eat schooling fish, including tuna, herring, mackerel, swordfish, and porpoise. They are opportunistic feeders, eating just about anything.
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.
MAKO SHARK ATTACKS
The Mako is considered dangerous and there have been attacks on people.
Mako sharks are the fastest swimming sharks and can even leap out of the water. They are also probably among the fastest fish. Estimates of their speed varies; some say that they can swim at about 60 miles per hour (97 kph), while more conservative estimates are about 22 mph (35 kph). There hasn’t been enough experimentation on their speeds to have an definitive answer.
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.
The short-finned Mako migrates about 1550 miles (2500 km) seasonally.
MAKO SHARK CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)