Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)

IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable

The shortfin mako is one of two species in the genus Isurus, the other being the longfin mako (Isurus paucus)

The shortfin mako is in the same family (Lamnidae) as the great white shark

Global and pelagic distribution

Maximum length ~13 feet

In utero embryos gain nourishment from a yolk sack, as well as feeding on other eggs/smaller embryos in the uterus (called “uterine cannibalism”), in a form of reproduction called ovoviviparity

Shortfin mako sharks reproduce every 3 years

Shortfin mako sharks are probably the fastest of all sharks, often obtaining speeds of 22 mph, and can leap from the water

The mako has a body designed to reduce drag and increase thrust, resulting in greater swimming speeds that allow the shark to exploit fast prey species such as swordfish and tuna; their needle-like teeth allow for puncturing and snagging these prey items

Like the white shark, the shortfin mako has muscle and vascular structures that allow the shark to be regionally endothermic; with warmer swimming muscles, the overall performance of the shark is enhanced!

It takes 15-18 months for babies to develop in their mothers!