Shortfin Mako Shark

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The shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus ("sharp nose"), is a large mackerel shark. Along with the closely related longfin mako (Isurus paucus) it is commonly referred to as "mako shark". This species grows to an average full-grown length of 1.823.2 m (610 ft) and to a weight of approximately 60400 kg (135-880 lb). The largest reported mako was said to be 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) and 4 m (13.2 ft), although the largest confirmed size is 3.96 m (13 ft) and 794 kg (1,750 lb). It has a bluish back and white underside. Although the sexes grow at about the same rate, females are thought to have a longer life span, and grow larger and weigh more than the males. Shortfin makos are renowned for their speed and their ability to leap out of the water. In fact, there are cases when an angry mako will jump out of the water and into the boat after it has been caught on the hook. The shortfin mako feeds mainly upon bony fishes including mackerels, tunas, bonitos, swordfish, and sailfish, but it may also eat other sharks, porpoises, sea turtles, and seabirds. In Ganzirri and Isola Lipari, Sicily, shortfin makos have been found with amputated swordfish bills impaled into their head and gills, suggesting from the dangerous location of the wounds found on the Mako sharks that swordfish seriously injure and likely kill makos. In addition, this location, off the coast of Sicily and the timing, late spring and early summer, corresponding to the swordfish's spawning cycle suggests that these makos prey on swordfish while they are most vulnerable, typical of many predators. The shortfin mako's speed has been recorded at 50 km/h (31 mph), and there are reports that it can achieve bursts of up to 74 km/h (46 mph). It can jump up to 9 m (28 ft.) in the air. Due to its speed and agility, this high-leaping fish is sought as game worldwide. This shark is highly migratory. Its endothermic constitution partly accounts for its relatively great speed. The shortfin mako has a formidable and foreboding appearance. The ISAF statistics on attacking species of sharks purports that between 1580 and 2007, the shortfin mako has had eight recorded unprovoked attacks on humans with two ending in fatality and twenty boat attacks. In New Zealand Mako sharks are often encountered in the waters of the North Island. Sharks can be attracted to caught fish with accounts of spear fishermen being approached by curious sharks and even being "slapped" with cavitation bubbles from a swift tail flick. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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