Scientific Name - Isurus oxyrinchus
Conservation Status - Endangered
Location - Worldwide
Diet - Mainly fish and squid.
Colour - Blue/Purple/White
Size - Up to 4m
Weight - Up to 450kg
Life Expectancy - Up to 32 years
Shortfin Mako Sharks are truly built for speed. A long pointed snout and streamlined body make them incredibly hydrodynamic. Plus they have a powerful crescent-shaped tail that propels them through the water. Shark skin is covered with millions of tiny teeth-like scales called dermal denticles, which point backwards to reduce surface drag.
Makos also have ‘flexible scales’ on the parts of their body that experience the most flow – such as the edges of their pectoral fins. These ‘bristle’, helping to push water over their body more efficiently.
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
Another amazing adaptation - which they share with their close relative the White Shark - is the ability to warm essential regions of their body (known as thermoregulation). This gives them enhanced sensory abilities and powerful bursts of speed. In fact, the Shortfin Mako is the fastest shark on record, reaching estimated speeds of 30mph. Enabling them to chase down fast bony-fish, such as tuna and swordfish.
WHAT DANGERS DO THEY FACE?
Shortfin Makos have a very low reproductive rate, only giving birth every 3 years. Females mature at 18 years and only produce 4-25 pups, after a 15-18 month gestation. So they are highly susceptible to overfishing. Valued for their meat and fins, they are targeted by fisheries and taken in huge volumes as bycatch. They have no catch limits and because of this the North Atlantic population is in steep decline.