SKATES & RAYS
THE SHORT FIN MAKO SHARK
Shortfin Mako Shark, Mako, Short-finned Mako, Blue Pointer, Mackerel Shark, Blue Dynamite, Bonito Shark, Taupe Bleu (Fr), Marrajo Dientuso (Es)
Isurus spallanzani (Rafinesque 1810). Oxyrhina spallanzani (Bonaparte,1839), Oxyrhina glauca (Muller& Henle 1839), Oxyrhina gomphodon (Muller & Henle, 1841), Isuropsis dekayi (Gill 1862), Lamna spallanzani (Gunther, 1870) Oxyrhina spallanzani (Moreau, 1881), Isurus mako (Whitley 1929), Isurus africanus (Smith 1957).
Robust, streamlined shark.
Large first dorsal fin set behind large pectoral fins.
Tiny second dorsal and anal fins, roughly equal in size.
Lunate caudal fin with strong keel.
Large, dark eyes.
Maximum length 400cm.
Grey to vivid blue colouring on dorsal surface.
Paler/white ventral surface, including the snout and mouth.
Large, robust and streamlined, the Shortfin Mako Shark is extremely hydrodynamically shaped amd can attain the highest recorded speed of any shark species. The snout is distinctly conical with large dark eyes. The teeth are long and blade-like without serrations or basal cusps, distinguishing the Shortfin Mako Shark from similar species such as the Porbeagle Shark, Lamna nasus and the longfin Mako Shark, Isurus paucus. The foremost teeth of the lower jaw are visible even when the mouth is closed. The second dorsal fin and anal fin are extremely small. The tail is cresent shaped with almost equal upper and lower lobes. A distinct caudal keel is present. Colouration of the dorsal surface varies from grey to vivid blue. The ventral surface is paler (Passarelli et al.Unknown). The largest recorded size for the Shortfin Mako Shark is 400cm tota length and 505.8g in weight (Carpenter, 2009).
The Shortfn Mako is found worldwide in temperate and tropical seas. In the east Atlantic, it is known from Norway to South Africa, including the Mediterranean. It is also known from the western Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Oceans (Passarelli et al, Unknown).
Text & Illustrations © Shark Trust 2009
This web-site is protected under international copyright laws and is the property of Carol Medder. Any unauthorised copying or transmission of its contents in full or in part is prohibited without prior permission of the author. Schools, colleges and universities are allowed to use the contents for educational purposes.