Fun Longfin Mako Shark Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Longfin Mako Shark Facts For Kids

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The longfin mako (Isurus paucus) was first described by Guitart Manday, a Cuban marine scientist in his journal 'Poeyana'. The mako or mackerel family of sharks has two species that fall under it, longfin and shortfin makos. Longfin makos are a species of makos that inhabit tropical or temperate waters covering a large distribution. The species of the longfin mako shark is a moderately large and active shark that acts as a potential threat to others in the sea and ocean. They are found in almost all the seas and oceans of the world but their distribution is widely scattered. The Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the South Atlantic Ocean account for the highest number of longfin makos and therefore are considered to be this shark's hotspot. Due to longfin makos sharing many similar physical characteristics with shortfin makos, it is difficult to differentiate the two species so their distribution may be inaccurately recorded. These mako sharks are mesopelagic during the day and epipelagic at night. They are the second-largest shark species that show many interesting characteristics. To know more about this shark, keep on reading these amazing facts.

For more relatable content, check out these porbeagle shark facts and blacktip reef shark facts for kids too.

Fun Longfin Mako Shark Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small fishes and squids

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-8 pups

How much do they weigh?

132.3-308.6 lb (60-140 kg)

How long are they?

14 ft (426.7 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Slate blue

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?



Atlantic, And Indian Oceans, The Pacific









Longfin Mako Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a longfin mako shark?

Longfin mako sharks (Isurus paucus) are a large type of shark.

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

Longfin mako sharks with long pectoral fins belong to the class Chondrichthyes, the common class for all cartilaginous fishes, just like skate fish.

How many longfin mako sharks are there in the world?

The exact population of longfin mako sharks is not determined. Any sharks caught as bycatch of pelagic longline fishery act as the main source of population measurements for this species. Their population trend is suspected to follow a declining pattern as records from the majority of its habitats are absent, indicating that their presence is only in a small quantity.

Where does a longfin mako shark live?

In the Atlantic Ocean, these sharks are found from the east coast of North America to places like Brazil on the west coast. Possibilities of their range extend to the Caribbean or the Mediterranean Sea too. Pacific longfin mako sharks have been recorded near Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. In the Indian ocean, they populate the Mozambique Channel mainly.

What is a longfin mako shark's habitat?

They primarily inhabit temperate or tropical waters. Sometimes longfin makos are visible at the water's surface but in reality, they are deep-sea bottom dwellers. Owing to their food habits, this shark species is found at great depths of around 2493 ft (760 m). They have been also found at a depth of 4435 ft (1351.8 m)!

Who do longfin mako sharks live with?

Sharks are generally solitary fishes rather than pack animals. They live alone in deep sea beds and hunt in solitude.

How long does a longfin mako shark live?

Specific information about the lifespan of a longfin mako (Isurus paucus) is not available. However, the counterpart species of this shark, the shortfin mako shark, has a lifespan of 25 years so it is assumed that longfin makos will show a similar lifespan.  

How do they reproduce?

Like all mako sharks, the longfin mako shark life cycle is lecithotrophic ovoviviparous in nature. This means that their eggs are nourished by yolk sacs and develop and hatch within the female shark's uterus. Pups also engage in oophagy (growing embryos feed upon unviable eggs in the uterus itself). Females keep the eggs in their uterus and they hatch within the uterus itself in the later stages of development. The average litter size of these makos ranges between two and eight pups. The reproductive rate of longfin makos is low.

What is their conservation status?

Longfin mako sharks have been assessed by the IUCN and declared as an Endangered species. They are quite low in number compared to their shortfin counterparts. This shark is rarely seen throughout its range and the species' low reproductive rate is also a reason for its rareness. These sharks also fall victim to bycatch fisheries in the shark fin trade.

Longfin Mako Shark Fun Facts

What do longfin mako sharks look like?

Longfin makos are the second-largest shark in the world after the great white shark! They have a long and slender body with a pointed snout. Their elongated snout makes their body bullet-shaped, which minimizes water resistance and helps them gain maximum speeds. Big round eyes on both sides of their heads form a unique characteristic of this shark. Their mouth is short but wide and consists of 13 large and sharp teeth, both in the lower jaw and the upper jaw. The lower jaw contains sharp teeth which protrude out of the mouth. The most noticeable feature of the shark is its large pectoral fins. Their pectoral fins have round tips and their length almost crosses the length of their head. A slate blue color stretches from their head to their tail on the dorsal side of the body.

The longfin mako shark has become very rare.

* Please note that this is an image of a tiger shark, not a longfin mako shark. If you have an image of a longfin mako shark please let us know at [email protected].

How cute are they?

These sharks are dangerous and large hunters of the sea. As a result, they're not seen as particularly cute animals.

How do they communicate?

Mako sharks are visual hunters. Their eyes are highly receptive to chemical lights called Cyalume sticks. Hence, visual cues are used to help them to locate others and hunt under the sea.

How big is a longfin mako shark?

The average longfin mako shark size can reach a maximum of 14 ft (426.7 cm). They are smaller in length than great white sharks (great white sharks are known as Carcharodon carcharias by their scientific name).

How fast can a longfin mako shark swim?

Longfin mako sharks can travel at the highest speed of 46 mph (74 kph). They are nearly as fast as the striped marlin.

How much does a longfin mako shark weigh?

The weight of this shark varies between 132.3-308.6 lb (60-140 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female longfin mako sharks do not have any specific names. Both of them are just called mako sharks.

What would you call a baby longfin mako shark?

Babies of these sharks are referred to as pups.

What do they eat?

Not much information is known about the feeding habits of this shark. It is believed that this predator mainly consumes small fishes and squids. Pups are cannibalistic in nature, engaging in oophagy, that is, feeding on other eggs that are present in the female's womb before birth.

Are they aggressive?

Yes, they are very aggressive and due to their large and powerful build, shark attacks from a longfin mako shark might result in fatalities. However, they do not often come in close proximity to humans so attack rates are low.

Would they make a good pet?

No, longfin makos are one of the most dangerous and aggressive predators. They cannot be kept as pets.

Did you know...

The mako family has a unique feature. Sharks of this family are able to maintain their body temperature at levels higher than the temperature of their surrounding waters.

Has a mako shark ever killed a human?

Multiple incidents have been recorded where mako sharks have been reported to attack and kill humans. However, whether they were long-finned or short-finned has not been determined. These sharks are very powerful and they certainly are capable of killing humans.

Longfin mako shark vs. shortfin mako shark

Longfin makos (Isurus paucus) and shortfin mako sharks are quite similar in physical and behavioral characteristics. The main difference between longfin and shortfin mako shark is the length of their pectoral fins, with longfin makos having significantly longer pectoral fins. Other than that, shortfin sharks are also much more active than longfin ones and can reach higher speeds due to their shorter pectoral fins.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our angelshark facts and requiem shark facts pages.

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

* Please note that the main image is of a gray shark, not a longfin mako shark. If you have an image of a longfin mako shark please let us know at [email protected].

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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