Mako Shark Facts – Unveiling the Majesty of the Ocean’s Speedster!

Sharks are sharks, right? Not so fast, young Cousteau. There are over 500 species of sharks, and the Mako Shark is one of the more well-known. And this may not help your dream life, but they’re also the fastest sharks in the world. 

If being afraid of sharks increases your respect for them, then you’re on the right track. But if it stops you from learning more about them, you’re missing out. Mako sharks do look menacing; however, they’re also beautiful, complicated creatures.

If not for movies like Jaws, we may think of sharks just as we do of jellyfish – interesting yet dangerous if you come close to them. We’re here to increase your curiosity about these marvelous fish and to help you understand them a little bit more. 

So come along as we speed through the waters of the Mako shark. Just be sure to wear your wetsuit. 

Top 10 Most Astounding Facts About Mako Shark

  • Mako sharks range in tropical and temperate seas worldwide
  • The largest mako adults can reach up to 4.5 meters
  • Mako sharks can weigh over 500 kg
  • At birth, the size of a baby mako shark is 70 cm in length
  • A shortfin mako shark can bite with a force of up to 13,000
  • They feed on herring, mackerel, swordfish, and small cetaceans
  • The shortfin mako is the fastest shark on planet, reaching speeds of 46 mph
  • Mako sharks have the ability to see in dark
  • Mako sharks are apex predators
  • Mako sharks have an average lifespan of 29 to 32 years

Scientific Classification of Mako Shark

Mako Shark Facts

First, a shocking statistic – Since the 19th century, there has been a 99.9% reduction in the shark population worldwide. Fishermen are attracted to their fins (shark fin soup is called a delicacy) and meat. According to American Oceans, it is a traditional food in Iceland and Greenland, and mako is a favorite dish.

The insidious market is worth almost 1 billion dollars per year. Shark cartilage and oil are also used for profit. Did you know one hundred million sharks are killed yearly? That’s 100 million. It seems impossible. “Gluttonous” and “wrong” would be better adjectives to describe the slaughter.

Now. Let’s talk about those cetaceans we want to save. Mako sharks.

Mako Sharks Are Extremely Smart and Aggressive Hunters. (American Oceans)

Their agility, precision, and extremely impressive critical reasoning are almost unmatched in the ocean. They have the ability to burst through the water at high speeds when attacking prey. During these bursts, they’ll often bite the tails off first, disabling prey. They’re also known to hunt in packs.

Mako Sharks Are Streamlined With Pointed Snouts, Crescent-Shaped Tails, and Slender Teeth. (American Oceans)

Mako shark teeth are designed to cut through flesh. Their teeth protrude forward from the jaw, making them visible when the mouth is closed. They have long gill slits, dark blue-gray back, and white undersides. The shark species has two dorsal fins, but one is much smaller than the other.

A Shortfin Mako Shark Can Bite With a Force of Up to 13,000 Newtons. (Newsweek)

Bite strength is measured in psi-pound-force per square inch.

13,000 Newtons is equal to 2,922.52 lbs of force.  

To put it in perspective, the strongest bite force ever recorded was from a saltwater crocodile at 3,700 lbs. And the average human has a bite strength of 162 pounds per square inch (psi).

Mako Sharks Have the Ability To See in the Dark. (Bali Sharks)

The tapetum lucidum is a layer of reflective cells behind the retina of the eye that sharks have. This layer allows them to see better in the deep sea and at night.

Mako Sharks Are Valued As Both Food and Game Fish, Celebrated for Their Strong Fights and Leaps. (

In fighting, they organize in numbers and try to incapacitate their prey as soon as possible, which may include decapitating them. Their leaps are what have gotten the attention of so many commercial and sport fishermen.

Mako Sharks Are Known for Their Long Migrations Every Year. (Frontiers)

Although there’s still a lot to learn about a mako shark’s migration patterns, sea surface temperature seems to influence their migration. They move:

  1. Upward along the northeast coast of the US and Canadian Grand Banks in the summer and fall
  2. Move to the Sargasso Sea for the winter but spend little time there

Scientists Have Observed Mako Sharks Swimming at Depths of Up to 2428 Feet. (Coastal Interpretive Service)

Ample amounts of prey are probably the reason why. According to a 2014 study, the twilight zone, the ocean area between 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, has ten times more fish than shallower waters.