With speeds reaching 22 miles per hour with short bursts of up to 80 miles per hour, the majestic sleek Mako shark lives comfortably amongst its fellow fast-moving pelagic (ocean ocean) fish. Their knifelike non-serrated teeth cut easily through their prey. The mako have an aggressive appetite, not unlike that of their cousin the Great White. The mako travel on an average of 36 miles per day feeding on fast swimming fish such as swordfish, tuna, other sharks and squid. Some say that sea turtles and marine mammals are rare in their diet while others argue the mako feed on sea turtles as a regular source. The verdict seems to still be out for the beautiful, sleek deep purple dorsal finned mako.
The difference in diet may be attributed to the different types of mako sharks. They were categorized into two species in 1966. The most common is the shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrincus and the longfin or big-eye mako, Isurus paucus.
The main difference in the two species of mako is their speed. The shortfinned mako is known for feeling the need for speed and its amazing leaps out of the ocean. They show great power and strength in hunting down their prey. Their diet varies upon the waters they inhabit, however, since they are extremely active so are their appetites. According to the aquatic community website, the shortfin mako sharks menu include tuna, mackerel, anchovies, grunts, herrings, cod, Australian Salmon, sea bass, sword fish and lancet fish. They have been known to eat other sharks such as the grey shark, hammerhead shark and the blue shark. That’s quite an appetite. Sometimes they will dine on sea turtles and squid and rarely do they partake of the ever playful dolphin.
There is not much known about the longfin mako since they are often confused with the shortfin mako. They are, however, typically slimmer with broad pectoral fins making them a slower swimmer. They generally glide through the open ocean feeding on large cephalopods such as squid, cuttlefish, and octopus as well as other schooling fish. Rarely do they feast upon the other big-game ocean dwellers due to their slower speeds. In 1993 a swordfish was found “stuck” inside the belly of a longfin mako so we know it can be done. However, the longfin makos choose to stay with the schooling and slower swimming ocean dwellers. Science has yet to discover the many idiosyncrasies of the open ocean. Hopefully they will be able find out more about the graceful, majestic longfin mako.