The mako shark is one of the fastest and most intriguing shark species in the ocean. Known for its speed, agility, and unique appearance, the mako shark stands out among its shark peers.
Here are 12 fascinating facts about this incredible shark:
As one of the fastest sharks in the world, the mako shark is built like a torpedo – long, pointy snout, streamlined body, and a powerful caudal fin (tail) that propels it through the water at incredible speeds. Makos are known to leap spectacularly out of the water, sometimes up to 30 feet high!
These sleek predators are equipped with special blood vessels that help keep them warm, unlike most shark species. This allows makos to swim into colder waters that most other sharks cannot tolerate.
Interesting Facts About Mako Sharks
- Makos are one of the fastest sharks, capable of swimming at speeds over 40 mph. Their speed and agility make them fantastic hunters.
- They can leap up to 30 feet out of the water when pursuing prey. This stunning behavior is called breaching.
- Makos have special blood vessels that retain heat and keep their body temperature higher than the surrounding water. This allows them to swim into colder waters that most sharks cannot tolerate.
- Their name comes from the Maori language and means “shark”. It refers to their sharp teeth.
- Makos have a very high metabolism and need to eat often – about 2-3% of their body weight per day!
- These sharks give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. The gestation period is 15-18 months.
- Makos migrate long distances each year, traveling up to 1,300 miles.
- Their teeth are similar to steak knives – long, sharp, and serrated. They help the mako tear into prey.
- Makos have a special bristle-like structure called the ampullae of Lorenzini that allows them to detect the electromagnetic field given off by potential prey.
- Their coloration helps camouflage them from prey. Makos are metallic blue/grey on top and white below.
- Makos are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain. Their diet consists of fish, squid, seals, dolphins, and even smaller sharks.
- These incredible sharks are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List. Overfishing and demand for mako shark meat are threatening global populations.
With its torpedo-shaped body, specialized blood vessels, impressive breaching displays, and ability to swim at blazing fast speeds, the mako shark is truly one of the most remarkable sharks on the planet. As an endangered species, increased conservation efforts are needed to protect these fascinating ocean predators for future generations.
The next time you hear about a breaching shark leaping 30 feet out of the ocean, there’s a good chance it’s a mako! Their athleticism and speed are unparalleled in the shark world.