Isurus oxyrinchus (Shortfin mako)
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(Shortfin mako) [Illustration
by Ann Hecht ©]
A large spindle-shaped shark with a sharp
snout, large black eyes, and large, narrow, hooked, smooth-edged
teeth. Colour brilliant blue above and on sides, abruptly white
To 4 m TL.
Entire coast; all temperate and
Coastal and oceanic in warm water, at
surface down to 152 m, sometimes close inshore off the surf zone.
A swift, active, powerful shark, readily jumping out of the
water. Eats mostly bony fish, but also other sharks, squid, and
pelagic dolphins. Bears 2 to 16 young.
with few unprovoked attacks on people; occasionally attacks boats
when hooked or when fish are being landed. Prized by anglers for its
fight but its excellent flesh is seldom used here; also caught in
the Natal shark nets.
Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert
and Malcolm J. Smale