Latin name

Isurus oxyrinchus

Other names

Blue pointer, bonito shark, dog shark, short-nosed mackerel shark.


The snout is sharp, conical. There are 24-25 sharp lanceolate teeth on each jaw. The caudal peduncle is flattened, with a keel. The caudal fin is sickle-shaped, the upper and lower blades are almost equal in size. The second dorsal fin is slightly ahead of the anal fin. The pectoral fins are always shorter than the head. Shortfin mako has a streamlined, well-proportioned body, which is most striking with a bright blue-gray or cobalt-blue coloration of the back, transitioning to a lighter blue color on the sides and snow-white on the belly. After death, this bright coloration fades to a grayish brown. Other characteristic features are a conical, pointed snout, a large flattened keel on either side of the caudal fin, and a moon-shaped (sickle-shaped) tail with lobes of almost equal size. The large first dorsal fin starts just behind the base of the pectoral fins. It can be easily distinguished from all other sharks by its teeth, which are thin and curved and have no fangs or serrations.


Shortfin mako is widely distributed throughout the ocean. It lives in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. In the western Atlantic Ocean it lives from the Gulf of Maine to southern Brazil, in the eastern Pacific Ocean - south from the Aleutian Islands to Hawaii and from Southern California to Chile.


It lives in the pelagic waters of the open ocean. It does not occur in waters with a temperature below 16 °C. It is one of the most active and fast-moving sharks. Often found at the surface of the ocean, making leaps out of the water. Most numerous in waters with temperate climates (the ideal temperature is 64-70 °F), some large makos adapt to temperatures above 50°, and small frequently prefer waters with a temperature of 70°. A similar species, the longfin mako (I. paucus), is seen mostly at night by anglers fishing in deeper waters far from shore.


Shortfin mako exceed 1,000 pounds in weight and 13 feet in length. The maximum known length (females) was about 4 m with a weight of 450 kg. Males reach sexual maturity at 195 cm (maximum known male length 284 cm), females at 280 cm. The world record for all tackle was a 1,115-pound fish caught off the coast of Mauritius in 1988, and was surpassed in 2001 by a 1,221-pound fish caught off the coast of Massachusetts.

Life history and Behavior

The warm-blooded mako is oviparous, which means that eggs hatch inside the mother and the young are born alive. While in the uterus, the unborn young often resort to cannibalism until only one remains at birth. Since mako females weigh over 600 pounds before reaching maturity, and few pregnant individuals have been recorded, it is a miracle that there are any makos left in the oceans at all.

Food and feeding habits

It feeds mainly on small gregarious fish (herring, mackerel) and larger fish, as well as squid. There are observations from the ship for the active hunting of the gray-blue shark on swordfish.


Oviparous species. Fertility is 1-6, rarely up to 10 fry. Mating occurs in the tropical part of the ocean, mainly in the summer. The number of males usually exceeds the number of females, often significantly.

Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Squad Lamniformes
Family Lamnidae
Genus Isurus
Species I. oxyrinchus
Conservation status Endangered
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 32
Maximum body weight, kg 230
Maximum length, cm 400
Sailing speed, m/s 0.7
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Shark, Shortfin Mako

Tags: Shark, Shortfin Mako