Shortfin Mako Shark – Isurus oxyrinchus

Shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus Canary Islands Sharks Canaries Atlantic scuba diving species
Shortfin Mako Shark – Isurus oxyrinchus

The Shortfin Mako Shark, also known as Blue Pointer or Bonito Shark, is a species in the order of the mackerel sharks and therefore belongs to the subclass of the Elasmobranchii. Isurus oxyrinchus was first described in 1810 by Rafinesque

In the article Sharks of the Canary Islands you will find more species and information about the top hunters of the seas.

Description, Features & Anatomy

The Shortfin Mako Shark has a slim, spindle-shaped body. Its back, flanks and upper surface of the pectoral fins are coloured blue to grey, while its belly and undersides of the pectoral fins are white.

Its snout ends very pointed and his eyes are completely black.

Isurus oxyrinchus grows up to 4m long and can weigh up to 500kg, whereby adult females are usually larger than the males. This may also have something to do with the fact that the average age of the females is much older.

Habitat, Distribution, Map & Occurrence

The Shortfin Mako Shark is a shark species that lives in the open water. It occurs from the water surface to depths of at least 500m. It is rather rare to see it near the coast.

It is unlikely to see Isurus oxyrinchus while scuba diving on the Canary Islands, but can theoretically happen.

Its general range is tropical, subtropical and temperate seas. It can be found in all three oceans, avoiding waters with temperatures below 16°C. It is also found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Isurus oxyrinchus distmap.png
By Chris_huhOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Map with the distribution area of the Shortfin Mako Shark.

Lifestyle & Nutrition

Isurus oxyrinchus is one of the fastest fish and reaches speeds of up to 80km/h. Its diet mainly consists of bony fish. Among them are tuna, mackerel, anchovies, herring, cod, salmon fish and many more. Also other Elasmobranchii and cephalopods belong to its prey.

One could see that Shortfin Mako Shark travel with warm water currents.

Reproduction & Development

Isurus oxyrinchus is viviparous. The birth itself takes place in open water. On average a female gives birth to 10-18 young per litter, although it can be up to 30. They are between 60 and 70cm tall at birth.

The gestation period probably lasts between 15 to 18 months with a three-year reproductive cycle. The embryos feed first on their stock in the yolk sac, then on nutrients from the uterus and towards the end, when all nutrients are depleted they tend to cannibalism.

Video – Facts about the Mako

Sources & Links


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