Mako Shark - Character, Behavior and Feeding

Mako shark: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is a species of the group commonly...

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The mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is a species of the group commonly called mackerel shark which belongs to the family Lamnidae, which it shares, among others, with the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). This type of cartilaginous fish is an important predator in the marine ecosystems where it lives and it has some particular characteristics that arouse interest. Continue reading this PlanetAnimal sheet to learn more about the mako shark.

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  • Africa
  • America
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Oceania

Mako Shark Features

Let's see the main characteristics of the mako shark:

  • It's a beautiful beast: it generally measures 3.2 to 3.8 meters long and weighs between 60 and 135 kg.
  • Females are larger than males: they can therefore weigh up to 150 kg.
  • It has a fast growth rate: compared to other shark species.
  • Its body shape is cylindrical and streamlined.
  • He can move very fast.
  • The caudal fin is vertically elongated: it is also thick and quite powerful, which allows it to propel itself quickly while swimming.
  • Its pectoral fins are short.
  • His eyes are black
  • Its muzzle is pointed.
  • Its gill slits are quite long: thanks to them, it can absorb oxygen.
  • The color varies depending on the area: it is metallic blue on the dorsal part of the body, but white on the belly, as well as around the mouth and under the muzzle.
  • Its color varies according to age: depending on the age of the individual, it will have certain tones or others.
  • When he is young, he has a black spot on his muzzle.
  • As is common in this family of sharks, its teeth are large, conical in shape and very sharp: you can see them outside the mouth even when its mouth is closed.

Marko shark habitat

The Mako shark is a cosmopolitan species, with a fairly wide range in all oceans, mainly in temperate and tropical oceans.

It can be present in the neritic zone, that is to say an area not exceeding 200 meters, well lit by the sun and interacting with the coastal zone. It can also be found in the oceanic, epipelagic and mesopelagic zone, around 800 meters deep. These places correspond to areas with a high diversity of species.

Although it prefers temperate and tropical waters, as we mentioned, it can move to cold waters, between 5 and 11 o C. Among the regions where it is commonly encountered are the coasts of North America and South America:

  • South America
  • Russia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Indo Pacific
  • East Africa
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Red Sea

Mako Shark Habits

The mako shark is an active species that tends to be constantly on the move. He is quite agile and very fast and he can easily reach a speed of around 32 km/h. One of its peculiarities is that when captured and still hooked, it is able to jump out of the water.

It can travel about 55 km per day. It is usually solitary, but may form certain groups, apparently determined by sex. It's not likely to attack humans as it doesn't come too close to shore, but it can be quite aggressive.

It is a rather difficult species to study because, due to its strength and activity, it is difficult to keep in captivity but it is known that it has very developed organs of vision and smell and that it is able to detect changes in water pressure and movement, which gives it significant sensory acuity.

Mako Shark Feeding

The mako shark is an apex predator, that is to say that in the ecosystems where it evolves, it is the main predator. It actively hunts different types of species, but bluefish (Pomatomus s altatrix) is one of its favorites.

It can also feed on:

  • Other sharks.
  • Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus).
  • Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus).
  • White tuna (Thunnus alalunga).
  • Swordfish (Xiphias gladius).
  • Squid (Loligo pealeii, Illex illecebrosus).
  • Dolphins (Delphinus capensis).
  • Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).
  • Other small mammals.

Mako shark reproduction

It is an ovoviviparous species, that is to say that the young, which do not maintain a placental link with the mother, feed first on their own eggs, then, for the more developed , other eggs and even their little siblings.Gestation lasts between 15 and 18 months, at the end of which developed young are born, with teeth and functional organs.

Like other sharks, this species does not form pairs, but unites only for reproduction. In addition, sometimes violent encounters have been observed in different females, during which the males bite the fins and the belly of the females. Mating is estimated to take place between late summer and early fall.

The cubs that are born number from 4 to 16. They measure about 70 cm and are completely independent of their mother after birth. Mako shark life expectancy is around 30 years, longer in females than in males.

If you want to know more about ovoviviparous animals: examples and curiosities, do not hesitate to consult this article from PlanèteAnimal that we recommend.

Conservation status of the mako shark

The mako shark is in danger of extinction and, although it is difficult to have an accurate assessment of the world population, we know that it is in decline. Threats to the species are both direct and accidental hunting.

Direct captures are intended for consumption, as its meat is marketed, but the mako shark is also the target of individuals who practice sport fishing. At PlanèteAnimal, we do not consider this a sporting activity, but an inappropriate activity, because sport should never harm animal species.

As for accidental catches, they are due to massive fishing, practiced by world fisheries which take marine biodiversity from the oceans in an uncontrolled manner. Mako shark conservation actions have been very limited, as they depend fundamentally on the controls carried out in each region. They have not been effective enough, as evidenced by the risk the mako shark faces globally.

Mako shark pictures

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