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Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Shortfin Mako Shark For Kids

Shortfin mako shark facts are interesting.

The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is considered to be one of the fastest sharks in the world. The shortfin makos can be found in the habitat regions of the western Atlantic, Nova Scotia, to name a few. The female mako sharks give birth to up to 18 pups after going through a gestation period of 15-18 months. The embryos are known to feed on the unfertilized eggs during the gestation period. The shortfin makos feed mainly on bony fish like swordfish, mackerel, and tuna, as well as other species of young sharks. Female makos are generally larger in length than males. The great white shark and killer whales are some of the known predators of the shortfin makos. The shortfin makos can swim very fast and this speed aids them in catching their prey or evading their predators. The pectoral fins of this species are smaller in size than the caudal fins. These warm-blooded creatures also have a unique coloration where the upper side is darker or metallic blue in color, while their lower region is white. They have well-developed eyes and large sharp teeth which helps them while feeding on their prey.

Keep on reading to know more about shortfin mako sharks. Check out whale shark facts and blacktip reef shark facts to learn more about other animals.  

Shortfin Mako Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a shortfin mako shark?

The shortfin mako sharks are species of fish.

What class of animal does a shortfin mako shark belong to?

The shortfin mako sharks belong to the Chondrichthyes class of animals. They belong to the family of Lamnidae.

How many shortfin mako sharks are there in the world?

The exact population of this marine species is not yet known. However, there has been a rapid decline in their population over the years. Currently, they are listed as an Endangered marine species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Commercial fishing is one of the main reasons behind the vulnerable position of this species.

Where does a shortfin mako shark live?

Shortfin mako sharks can be found in the Western Atlantic, in the regions of Argentina, the Gulf of Mexico, Nova Scotia, and Brown Banks. They are also found in the Pacific ocean and Indian ocean as well.

What is a shortfin mako shark's habitat?

Shortfin mako sharks can be found in temperate and tropical water bodies. Very often, they can be found closer to shores or around inlets and islands.

Who do shortfin mako sharks live with?

Found in the Atlantic ocean, shortfin mako sharks are generally solitary creatures, however, they can sometimes be found in small groups consisting of same-sex individuals.

How long does a shortfin mako shark live?

The lifespan of the female shortfin mako sharks is longer than that of the males. While the average lifespan of the male is 29 years, females can live as long as 32 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Female makos reach their sexual maturity much later than males. The males attain their sexual maturity at the age of eight years, however, females take up to 18 years to reach sexual maturity. Females are ovoviviparous by nature, that is, they give birth to live pups. The gestation period lasts for 15-18 months, after which they give birth to up to 18 live pups. There is a gap of 18 months, after which the female will start to reproduce again.

What is their conservation status?

Shortfin makos are currently listed as an Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They have been targeted by commercial fisheries over the years, which has resulted in a rapid decline in their population.

Shortfin Mako Shark Fun Facts

What do shortfin mako sharks look like?

Shortfin mako shark is carnivorous.

Found in the Atlantic ocean, this species of shark is a large shark with a cylindrically shaped body that has the unique feature of countershading, where the upper side is darker in color than its underside. The upper side of the shortfin mako shark is metallic blue in color while its underside is whiter in color. It has well-developed black eyes and large, sharp teeth. Its pectoral fins are smaller in size than its caudal fins which help them to move through the water.

How cute are they?

The shortfin makos are not at all cute, like most other species of sharks. They have large sharp teeth and a large body that has a ferocious appearance. When encountered by one, the best possible decision at that moment for a human being is to get away from it as fast as possible.

How do they communicate?

This species of mako sharks are aggressive creatures and not much is known about how they communicate with each other. Sharks, in general, do not possess the ability to emit sound, so they communicate with each other through various body movements like opening their jaws or moving their heads. They also sometimes arch their bodies to send out certain signals to other individuals.

How big is a shortfin mako shark?

This species of mako shark is a large-sized shark and the size of an adult male is 10 ft (3.2 m ). Females are larger in size than males and they can reach up to 12 ft (3.8 m) in length. They are smaller in length than the whale shark, which is considered to be the largest shark in the world.

How fast can a shortfin mako shark swim?

The shortfin mako sharks are fast swimmers and can reach up to a speed of 19.8 mph or 32 kph. They can cover a distance of 34.2 miles, 55 km, per day. It is considered to be the fastest shark around the world and is way faster than the Greenland shark, which is considered to be the slowest shark in the world. Their speed helps them to evade predators like the great white shark.

How much does a shortfin mako shark weigh?

The weight of an adult male mako shark of this species ranges from  132–298 lb (60–135 kg). Females are slightly heavier than males.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no sex-specific name for this species of makos.

What would you call a baby shortfin mako shark?

Baby shortfin mako sharks are called pups.

What do they eat?

Found in the Atlantic ocean, the food of this species of makos are a large range of aquatic fish and animals like mackerel, swordfish, and tuna. Bony fish is also part of their diet. They are also known to eat other young shark species, green sea turtles, and dolphins. They are fast swimmers and their speed helps them to catch their prey easily.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, shortfin makos are dangerous, especially when they are provoked or caught. There have been many known cases of this shark attacking humans. Their large body, fast speed, and aggressive nature make them extremely dangerous and fierce. Their fast swimming ability helps them to evade predators and catch their prey easily.

Would they make a good pet?

No, shortfin mako sharks do not a good pet. Although they do not attack humans at first sight, however, if provoked or caught on the end of a fishing line they may attack humans and there are several such cases of known attacks of this species across the world. They have a large size, which means, they will require a large space to live in, even if someone manages to catch one. Moreover, males are known to die in captivity, so the best way to care for them is to leave them in the wild, where they belong.

Did you know...

Shortfin mako sharks possess the ability to jump into the air when they are hooked. There have been many known incidents where this species has jumped onto a boat after being hooked.

Some of the known predators of this large shark species are the great white shark and killer whales.

Young shortfin mako sharks have a black spot at the edge of their snout.

The shortfin mako shark can keep their body temperature higher than the temperature of the surrounding water.

Are mako sharks rare?

Yes, the shortfin mako sharks are rare. They have been currently enlisted as an Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are several reasons behind their decreasing number over the years. One of the reasons is they have been continuously been targeted for sport and commercial fisheries.

What is the most dangerous shark?

The most dangerous shark found in the world is considered to be the bull shark. They are extremely aggressive and will attack humans at the first chance. They are much more aggressive than the shortfin mako shark. They can found in the coastal waters of the United States, the Mississippi, and the Amazon River.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including tarpon facts and wolffish facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable shark coloring pages.

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