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~ 1221 Lbs. Caught in Chatham, MA on July 21, 2001 by angler Luke
~ Isurus Oxyrinchus
~ Blue Pointer, Bonito
Shark, Short nosed Mackerel shark
~ The Shortfin Mako has a
vivid blue back which turns to lighter blue on the sides with a white
belly.. The line of demarcation between blue and white on the body is
distinct. The underside of the snout and the area around the mouth are
white. This is important because is helps differentiate the Shortfin
from the Longfin Mako, which has a darkly pigmented mouth region. The
Shortfin Mako body is streamlined and extremely hydrodynamic. The snout
is bluntly pointed with large black eyes. The caudal keel is prominent
and the tail fin is cresent shaped. The tail has a high aspect ratio
(ratio of height to length), which produces maximum thrust with minimum
drag and provides almost all of the propulsion for the shark
~ The Shortfin Mako can exceed 1,000 pounds and 13 feet, although a more
typical size that anglers catch is 10 ft and 135-300 lbs. As with most
shark species, females are larger than males.
~ The shortfin mako has a wide distribution. It is found in tropical and
temperate waters throughout the world's oceans. In North America it
ranges from California to Chile in the Pacific and from the Grand Banks
to the hump of Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean
Sea in the Atlantic. The shortfin mako is a true pelagic species with a
primarily anti-tropical distribution. However, they will enhabit the
cooler, deeper water of tropical regions. In some tropical areas where
the surface temperature is 81°F, water temperature may be as low as 59°F
at depths of 95-190 feet.
With the ability to elevate body temperature, makos are able to maintain
themselves in temperatures of 41-52°F. In this sense the makos are
somewhat "warm-blooded," meaning that heat in their blood is
conserved within the body and not lost through the gills.
~ The Shortfin Mako feeds on other fast-moving pelagic fishes such as
swordfish, tunas, and other sharks as well as squid. The Shortfin Mako
is the fastest shark, capable of attaining speeds of up to 20 mph, and
leaping skillfully out of the water. Due to its beauty, aggressiveness,
and jumping ability, the shortfin mako is considered one of the great
gamefishes of the world.