Scientific Name: Galeocerdo cuvier Common Name: Tiger Shark, and Sea Tiger
Distribution and Habitat: Found in both coastal and oceanic waters however most prevalent close to shore in tropical and subtropical waters. The Tiger shark is a very nomadic shark often traveling along with warmest water currents or near the equator. Tiger sharks favor deep waters lining reef drop offs, however it does travel into shallow water, inlets, and channels to pursue prey. The Tiger shark populates the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and Atlantic beaches, Mexican Waters, South American coasts, throughout the Caribbean, The Bahamas, African coasts, China, Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Indonesia. The Tiger sharks range perimeters are most notably effected by its tendency towards warm waters. Although it may be found in extreme Northern and Southern waters, the Tiger shark will generally move on quickly into more appropriate seas. Tiger sharks can adjust to varying ranges of water depth having been recorded as deep as 900 meters (3000 ft) and as shallow as 2 meters and sometimes simply a few feet while actively attacking prey. During its coastal stay Tiger sharks are most commonly seen between 20 to 50 feet of depth.
Anatomy and Appearance: Tiger Sharks are one of the most uniquely visual species of commonly seen sharks. A Tiger shark can range in color from blues, greens, whites, and yellows. Tiger sharks have a very defined counter shading (darker color such as blue, green, and grey on dorsal section to then transition to whites or yellows on the ventral side.) As their names suggest Tiger sharks also play host to dark spots and stripes on their dorsal or darker side. These stripes are most visible in young sharks and usually fade as the shark matures. However some adult specimens carry their beautiful markings throughout their lives. The Tiger shark's head and snout is squared instead of pointed or cylindrical like many shark species. These adaptation is thought to allow the shark a higher level of prey detection through a larger number of electro-receptors found in the small pits of its nose (known scientifically as the ampullae of Lorenzini). This head shape is also thought to allow the shark faster movements and quick turns while hunting. Tiger sharks are also some of the largest shark species swimming in modern day waters. The Tiger shark commonly attains a length of 3–4.2 m (9.8–13.8 ft) and weighs around 385–635 kg (849–1,400 lb). Sometimes, an exceptionally large male tiger shark can grow up to 4.5 m (15 ft). Females are larger, and exceptionally big ones can reportedly measure over 5 m (16 ft). According to Guinness World Records, one female specimen caught off Australia reportedly measured 5.5 m (18 ft) long and weighed an exceptional 1,524 kg (3,360 lb), although her weight is thought to have been bolstered by her pregnant state at the time. Even larger specimens have been reported but are unconfirmed.
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: The Tiger shark has a reputation for eating almost anything be it normal prey or even trash. Young Tiger sharks primarily feed on small fish, jellyfish, cephalopods, and mollusks. Around sexual maturity Tigers will begin attempting larger prey including: larger fish, crustaceans, sea birds, sea snakes, marine mammals such as bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, spotted dolphins, dugongs, seals, and sea lions. They are also known to regularly attack and consume many sea turtle species such as: Leatherback, Loggerhead, and Green Sea Turtles. Tiger sharks have also been known to eat other sharks including Sandtiger sharks, Sandbar sharks, and other smaller Tiger sharks. Due to high risk of predatory attacks, dolphins often avoid regions inhabited by tiger sharks. Tiger sharks may also attack injured or ailing whales and prey upon them. A group was documented attacking and killing an ailing humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) in 2006. Tiger sharks are also scavengers of dead whales. In one such documented incident, they were observed scavenging on a whale carcass alongside Great White Sharks.
Scientific Name:Rhincodon typus Common Name: Whale Shark, Whaling Shark, and Leviathan Shark
Distribution and Habitat: The Whale Shark is a known Tropical and warm water species primarily seen offshore. However Whale sharks are known to be found near drop off coastal areas, lagoons, coral atolls, deep estuaries, and rivers. The whale shark is an extremely migratory species traveling many miles a day in pursuit of schooling fishes and marine organisms. The whale shark has been witnessed at depths of up to 4,500 feet (1,300 meters), but primarily feeds at the oceans surface. The Whale shark travels all warm coastal waters of Africa, Australia, India, Honduras, the Philippines, Mexico and Central America, South America, Lower Atlantic and Pacific United States. These sharks seem to gather in great numbers of the Yucatan Coast and thorough out Mexican Tropical waters. They are also seen during summer months near the East and West Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
Anatomy and Appearance: The size of a Whale shark is its most astonishing feature by far. It is the largest non-cetacean animal in the world and average adult sizes are estimated at 9.7 meters (31.82 feet) and weigh close to 9 tonnes or 18,000 lbs. Although huge specimens of up to 42 feet (12.65 meters) and 21.5 tonnes (47,000 lbs) are known to exist, some claim to have seen sharks of this species reach over 18 meters (60 feet) and weigh over 45.5 tonnes (100,000 lbs). One report even suggests a shark reaching up to 22 meters in length (70 feet long). Whale sharks are also known for their wide mouths (up to 1.5 meters or 5 feet) and have between 300 to 350 rows of minute teeth. Whale sharks also play host to 10 filter pads which they use to ingest krill, shrimps, and small fishes. The whale shark's head is extremely square and flat and their eyes are extremely small for their large body size. Whale sharks are usually a range of deep blue to grey on their dorsal and a vivid white on their ventral. They are also dotted with pale yellow and white spots aligned in long stripes. The Whale shark also has three large ridges along its back and sides which is thought to help it during long migration swims.
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: The Whale shark is a filter feeder meaning that its main food sources include: macro algae, plankton, krill, crab larvae, small squid, small fishes, and fish spawn clouds. The Whale shark is an active hunter however and seeks out its prey rather than just swimming and filtering the water it encounters. It often finds clouds of prey moving together in mass and then ambushes the cloud while sucking water into its mouth to then filter out any prey items. Whale sharks are also known to cough after eating which is thought to help clean their filter pads of indigestible debris or particles. The Whale shark is one of only three known large filter feeding species, the two others being (The Basking Shark and The rare Megamouth Shark). Whale sharks are a non aggressive species and pose little danger to divers or swimmers. Often the only injury a Whale shark may inflict is inadvertently by slapping swimmers or divers who get to close with its massive caudal fin. Young Whale sharks are even known to exhibit play behavior towards divers and swimmers and seem to enjoy being rubbed and touched.
Scientific Name:Carcharodon carcharias Common Name: Great White, White Pointer, White Shark, and White Death
Distribution and Habitat: Found in both coastal and oceanic waters in temperatures ranging from (12 and 24 °C (54 and 75 °F)). Densest populations occurring along the Atlantic Northwest and California in the United States, Oceanic Caribbean and Mexican Waters, Dyer Island and Coastal South Africa, Coastal Japan, Chile, Oceania, as well as throughout the waters of the Mediterranean.
Anatomy and Appearance: The most notable visual aspect of the Great White is its unique counter shading coloration (Having varying dark to light grey dorsal pigment bordered by a sharp white ventral contrast). This coloration is thought to help camouflage the shark while hunting, the darker dorsal section almost invisible from above, while the white belly blends with sunlight from below. The head and snout are conical although extremely large and robust. The rest of its body is torpedo shaped with both the upper and lower lobes of its caudal fin the same size. Male great whites reach maturity at 3.5–4.0 m (11.5–13.1 ft) long and females at 4.5–5.0 m (14.8–16.4 ft) long. Adults on average are 4–5.2 m (13–17 ft) long and have a mass of 680–1,100 kg (1,500–2,430 lb). Females are generally larger than males. The great white shark can reach 6.4 m (21 ft) in length and 3,324 kg (7,328 lb) in weight.
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: This species of shark prefers prey which are generally rich in blubber or fat (a major energy source for any large marine predator) Common prey items include but are not limited to: Pinnipeds (seals, fur seals, sea lions, sea otters, walrus, etc.), cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises, and whales), other cartilaginous and bony fishes, marine reptiles, marine birds, as well as indigestible objects which mimic natural foods. Great Whites are known ambush predators, often stalking prey for a long time before rushing upward from below to take them by surprise. This behavior allows the shark to inflict massive initial trauma to the prey item. After the initial attack, the shark will generally wait patiently while the prey bleeds out and becomes weak or unable to defend itself. The shark will then return to feed without the danger of being harmed by its prey. Great Whites are also the only known species of shark to breach the surface of the water while hunting. This behavior has only been witnessed near the southern tip of South Africa and Seal Island.
Scientific Name: Carcharhinus leucas Common Name: Bull Shark, Bullie, Zambezi Shark, Zambi, Nicaragua Shark, Grey Death, River shark, Fitzroy Creek whaler, van Rooyen’s shark, freshwater whaler, estuary whaler, Swan River whaler, and shovel-nose shark.
Distribution and Habitat: The Bull shark is one of the most commonly found sharks the world over. It is also the only known large predatory species of shark that can inhabit both salt and fresh water. Although it is most predominately found in warm coastal waters, the Bull shark has been seen entering streams, rivers, and freshwater lakes. In some areas the Bull shark has even been seen "leaping" upstream rivers very much like some salmon species in order to reach deeper freshwater. The Bull shark seems to prefer shallower water usually witnessed no deeper than around 100 feet or (30 meters). However the Bull shark has also been seen as deep as 500 feet or (152 meters) on rare occasions. Bull sharks have been found in every ocean except the Antarctic and has an extremely high tolerance for varying temperatures as well as salinity. Common places to find Bull sharks include: Coastal United States, Mexico, South America, Brazil, Morocco, Angola, African Coastal Waters, Indian Waters, Vietnam, Tropical to Subtropical Asian Waters, Australia, and New Zealand. Bull sharks found in freshwater include the Brisbane River, The Gold Coast, Scarborough Canals, Amazon River, Inquitos Peru, Lake Nicaragua, Ganges River, Brahmaputra River, Assam, Several coastal rivers in South Africa, Lake Pontchartrain, Potomac River and the Mississippi River of the United States. Bull sharks have been documented to penetrate the waters of the Mississippi River as far upstream as Alton, Illinois. Bull sharks have also been known to penetrate deep flood waters resulting from tropical storms or hurricanes. They have even been reportedly seen swimming through flooded streets in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. Bull sharks are also extremely prolific in estuarine systems of warm coastal waters. This species of shark distinctly favors warm water currents and turbid or low visibility environments.
Anatomy and Appearance: The Bull shark is a very large predatory species with a stout thick frame. Females as with most shark species are larger than males and can reach an average of 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in length and weigh around 300 lbs. The adult male Bull shark averages around 2.25 meters (7.4 feet) and 200 lbs. Large specimens of this species are said to reach around 11 feet (3.5 meters) in length but one female specimen was said to have been slightly larger than 13 feet long. Maximum weight for Bull sharks is estimated around 700 lbs. Bull sharks have a varying grey dorsal side and a white to light grey ventral section. This coloration is mild due to the turbid environments the Bull shark tends to favor. Bull sharks are also thought to have the heaviest bite force (600 kilograms or 1,300 lbs) of all experimented large shark species.
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: Bull sharks generally hunt alone but have been witnessed cooperating in pairs. They often slowly cruise through coastal waters and when introduced to a possible prey item become extremely aggressive and agitated. Bull sharks favor murky waters to hide their presence from prey items. They also favor a bump and bite technique when presented with unfamiliar prey. Their attack strategy is one of rapid acceleration and a brutal initial contact. This shark is known to try and drag larger or more aggressive prey into deeper water to try and drown them. Bull sharks do not stop attacking once their first bite has been initiated, often they will return repeatedly to the prey item, violently shaking and tearing off large amounts of flesh until the prey is incapacitated. The Bull sharks diet consists mainly of other fishes and sharks. However it also has been known to ingest: aquatic reptiles, birds, terrestrial mammals, aquatic mammals, crustaceans, echinoderms, and other terrestrial prey. The Bull shark due to its aggressive and opportunistic nature and shared habitat with humans is thought to be the culprit to many shark attacks the world over. Although both The Great White and Tiger shark have been ranked the number 1 and 2 most dangerous shark species, the Bull shark is now estimated to have killed more people than any other shark species. Ultimately the Bull Shark is an apex marine predator who's nature and evolutionary adaptations has remained unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years. It is a shark to be both respected and studied as one of nature's greatest predators.
Scientific Name:Carcharhinus longimanus Common Name: Oceanic Whitetip, Oceanic shark, Lesser White Shark, Sea dogs, Sea Wolves, Brown Milbert's Sandbar, Nigano Shark, Brown Shark, Whitetip Whaler, and Sailor's Shadow.
Distribution and Habitat: The Oceanic Whitetip is a pelagic species found globally in the open ocean. These sharks prefer temperate environments and rarely venture into waters colder than 20 °C (68 °F) or warmer than 28 °C (82 °F). Although these sharks were once extremely common open water animals, due to over finning and long line fishing their populations have dropped dramatically in recent years. Some scientists believe than their total population decline approaches a massive 70% of original numbers. These sharks tend to travel along the offshore currents and deep ocean areas ranging from the ocean surface to around 500 ft in depth. Although not normally found closer to shore they have been known to venture into shallower waters less than 140 ft while occupying mid-ocean islands, shallow continental shelves, or sea mounts. The are generally a solitary shark species, but have been known to gather in surprising numbers during plentiful feeding. These sharks swim extremely slow often times allowing ocean currents to do the majority of the work while gliding along on great pectoral fins. They have been called the albatross's of the sea, and are one of the most nomadic species on the planet. Although these sharks do not school with members of their own species unless feeding or mating, they have been known to travel with pilot fish, dolphin-fish, remoras, barracuda, and even in some cases certain pelagic whale species such as the short-fin pilot whale.
Anatomy and Appearance: The Oceanic Whitetip shark has extremely long fins used for long distance swimming and minimal energy loss. Its pectoral fins are rounded at the tip instead of pointed and mimic the wings of a plane while moving. Its dorsal fin is much shorter and is primarily used for balance while its caudal fin is large and powerful. The Oceanic Whitetip is an almost bronze or brown color with a white or cream colored ventral belly. The tips of its fins are tipped in splotched white hence its name. The white tips of its fins can also have tiny specks of black or even gold mixed in within. The largest specimen ever caught measured 4 m (13 ft), an exceptionally large size considering few specimens are known to exceed a length of 3 m (9.8 ft). The maximum reported weight is 170 kg (370 lb). The female is typically larger than the male by 10 cm (3.9 in). Males attain sexual maturity at 1.7 to 1.9 m (5.6 to 6.2 ft) and females about 1.8 to 2 m (5.9 to 6.6 ft).
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: The Oceanic Whitetip's primary food source are bony fishes including: lancetfish, oarfish, barracuda, jacks, marlin, tuna, mackerel, swordfish, but also include: sea turtles, sea birds, gastropods, cetaceans, and terrestrial animals which become stranded in its oceanic habitat. Although Oceanic Whitetips are considered slow swimmers they have surprising bursts of speed while hunting and tend to have an extremely aggressive nature while feeding or competing for food with other marine fauna. They are considered a high strung and quick tempered shark, often becoming stubborn and refusing to leave an area after being driven off repeatably. Oceanic Whitetips will become so aggressive while competing for food that they often drive off and intimidate larger more dangerous marine predators in the process. Oceanic Whitetips will often follow a schooling food source for days while stalking prey or will follow ships or large marine mammals waiting patiently for a chance to scavenge larger prey. They were also noted for following whaling ships until the ships would make a kill then the sharks would rush the injured or dead whale and tear off massive amounts of flesh and blubber before the sailors could pull in the whale carcass. Oceanic Whitetips are also extremely dangerous when it comes to plane crash or shipwreck survivors. They will follow survivors for days and feed on any dead bodies floating nearby. One of their most promenent moments in history was after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in the Pacific and the Nova Scotia near South Africa in the Atlantic. Theses sharks are believed to have killed hundreds of the initial surviving ship wreck victims although not nearly the amount that history exploits them for. Overall they are an extremely efficient desert water predator that is one of the most notable survivors in the shark world.
Scientific Name:Triakis semifasciata Common Name: Leopard Shark
Distribution and Habitat: The Leopard Shark is one of the most common near-shore sharks along the Pacific coast of North America, ranging from Oregon to Mazatlan, Mexico, including the Gulf of California. It is commonly found in bays and estuaries, but also occurs along the open coast and offshore islands, usually at shallower depths but at times down to 91 m. It is found in Northeast and eastern central Pacific: Oregon, USA to Mazatlan, Mexico, including the northern Gulf of California. This species is commonly found in bays and estuaries (including Elkhorn Slough, Drakes Estero, and San Francisco, Tomales, Humboldt, Morro, Santa Monica, San Pedro, Alamitos, Anaheim, Newport, Mission, and San Diego Bays in California) but is also found along the open coast and around offshore islands. This shark occurs in cool to warm temperate waters, both inshore and offshore. It is most often found on or near the bottom in shallow water from the intertidal to 20m depth, and less commonly down to 91m depth, in flat sandy areas, mud flats, and bottoms strewn with rocks near rocky reefs and kelp beds. The leopard shark is commonly found in shallow, enclosed, muddy bays, often entering them as the tide rises and leaving when it retreats.
Anatomy and Appearance: The most unique feature of the Leopard shark is its magnificent coloration. It has prominent black saddle markings and large to medium black spots along its dorsal side. Its ventral belly is an off-white/cream color and the rest of its body is an almost metallic bronze/silver/brownish grey. Its body its rather stout and robust with a short blunt snout. The Leopard shark usually averages around 1.2-1.5 m (3.9-4.9 ft.). Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: This shark is an opportunistic benthic feeder, devouring a variety of invertebrates and fishes, including the fat innkeeper worm (Urechis caupo), crustaceans (grapsid crabs and shrimp), clam siphons, teleosts, fish eggs, and small elasmobranchs. They may disturb the mud and use suction to capture prey. Their diet shifts with the season and the size of the shark. Pups caught in the surf zone along sandy ocean beaches in southern California reportedly feed heavily on sand crabs and presumably other sandy-bottom invertebrates. Predators on leopard sharks include the sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus), and the great white shark (Carcharadon carcharias); however humans are probably the most influential predator. Strong swimming and nomadic, they are known to suddenly appear in an area, and then move on, possibly in relation to feeding or reproductive behaviour. They often occur in schools, sometimes with smoothhounds, spiny dogfishes, sevengills, and bat rays. Schools are often segregated by sex and size, and newborn leopard sharks have also been observed to form loose schools.
Note: This image is a stock image taken from online sources, this is not Namyr copyrighted work. Link: images2.fanpop.com/image/photo… Carlisle, A. & Smith, S.E. 2009. Triakis semifasciata. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2.
Scientific Name:Negaprion brevirostris Common Name: Lemon Shark, Gold Shark, and Goldie
Distribution and Habitat: Lemon sharks favor environments with warm coastal water and rocky or sandy bottomed substrates. Lemon sharks also tend to favor areas with lots of mangrove estuarine environments, although they do tend to avoid areas covered in various species of sea grass. Mangrove estuaries are extremely important for Lemon shark development for they play a perfect safe haven for young or new born Lemons. By hiding and hunting throughout the mangroves these young sharks avoid predation from their much larger relatives. Lemon sharks are also known for being a live bearing species of shark (IE they give birth to their young instead of laying eggs.) Lemon sharks are found primarily in the Americas Tropical and Subtropical waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. They are also found of the coast of Western Africa in the Atlantic. Areas known to harbor Lemon sharks include: Coastal Atlantic United States, Mexico, Caribbean, Mid to Southern South America, Eastern Pacific California, and Ecuador. Lemon sharks cruise tropical and subtropical waters of coral reefs, bays, inlets, islands, channels, and river mouths. On rare occasions the Lemon has also been sighted in the Tropical open ocean although this is thought to be only during migrations. Although known to swim up rivers they do not venture very far into fresh water.
Anatomy and Appearance: The Lemon shark is most notable for its yellow or goldish coloration. Since this shark spends the majority of its time swimming over sandy colored substrates its coloration acts as a perfect camouflage. The Lemon shark does display counter shading with a slightly lighter/white ventral side. Its body shape includes a broad round snout with a wedge shaped head. The body although long is built more for cruising than for speed swimming. The Lemon shark also has a second dorsal fin nearly as large as its primary dorsal fin which allows it more maneuverability in shallow water. The lemon shark commonly attains a length of 2.4 to 3.1 m (7.9 to 10.2 ft) and a weight of up to 90 kg (200 lb) by adulthood, although sexual maturity is attained at 2.24 m (7.3 ft) in males and 2.4 m (7.9 ft) in females. The maximum recorded length and weight is 3.43 m (11.3 ft) and 183.7 kg (405 lb). Another notable feature of the Lemon shark is its almost cat like golden eyes. These eyes are built to filter in even the most minute rays of light to allow the shark amazing vision in low light environments.
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: Lemon sharks are fairly social animals usually living in large groups both for protection and hunting. Lemon sharks have also been known to live alongside other species of shark sometimes cooperating as hunting partners although scavenging is more common. They are considered one of the most intelligent shark species often using memory and judgement of individual incidents to learn. They are capable of shape and individual recognition and have been claimed by scientists to have an intelligence level equal to some species of parrots. Lemon sharks dine primarily on various fish species inhabiting their coastal environments, but have also been known to feed on: crustaceans, benthic organisms, and sea birds. Lemons are mostly active at night tending to do most of their hunting between dusk and dawn. When hunting Lemon sharks stalk their prey for a lengthy time to then suddenly rush them. Once rushed they sharply brake with their pectoral fins and lunge forward until establishing a good grasp upon prey. The Lemon then violently shakes its head from side to side tearing off a sizable chunk of flesh.
Scientific Name:Stegostoma fasciatum or varium Common Name: Zebra Shark, Spotted Nurse Shark, (Sometimes called a Leopard Shark as an adult due to its spots, however this an error as the Leopard Shark is a different species entirely.)
Distribution and Habitat: A tropical water species, the Zebra shark is found: in the Indo-Pacific region, from South Africa to the Red sea, the Persian Gulf, Madagascar, Maldives, India, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Palau, Taiwan, Japan, New Caledonia, Tonga, and Northern Australia. Zebra sharks frequent intertidal zones to depths of over 200 feet. However they prefer as adults to remain near coral reefs and sandy bottomed areas. Zebra sharks have been known to make oceanic voyages and have been documented living near sea mounts and coral islands hundreds of miles from continental land masses.
Anatomy and Appearance: The Zebra Shark is a rather docile species of shark. Named for their characteristic stripes at birth, the zebra shark then outgrows their stripes which then change into spots. These spots in adulthood are why so many people refer to them in error as "Leopard Sharks". The Zebra shark is generally a golden light brown with dark brown to black spots as an adult, although while still young the Zebra shark is brightly colored with a yellow/white belly and yellow stripes and spots patterning its dark brown dorsal area. The Zebra Shark is built rather stockily with a cylindrical body and a short, blunt snout. It has two barbels near its nostrils and its eyes are extremely small located on either side of the head. There are five ridges along the dorsal side of the shark, the central one merging into the shortened dorsal fin. Its caudal fin is notched at the top, and is nearly as long as the entire rest of the sharks body. The lower lobe of the caudal fin is very small and serves mainly as a stabilizer for the upper lobe of the fin. Its Pectoral fins are broad and very large for its body size. The zebra shark attains a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft), with an unsubstantiated record of 3.5 m (11.5 ft). Males and Females of this species are not dimorphic in size.
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: The Zebra shark is most active after dark than in the daylight hours. During the day it is usually found resting in sandy channels or near coral reefs. The Zebra shark can stop swimming and rest on the bottom for long periods of time, and is often seen facing into a current while opening and closing its mouth to facilitate respiration. Once night falls the Zebra shark turns into a strong agile swimmer while it hunts for shelled mollusks. It is also known to feed on crustaceans, small bony fishes, and even occasionally sea snakes. The Zebra shark is able to wedge itself into rocky or coral openings to then "push/suck out" potential prey items with its powerful buccal cavity.
Scientific Name: Isurus oxyrinchus (meaning: sharp nosed) Common Name: Shortfin Mako Shark, Mako Shark, and Blue Pointer
Distribution and Habitat: Found in offshore temperate and tropical waters worldwide in temperatures ranging from (16 and 26.6 °C (60.8 and 80 °F)). The Shortfin Mako is a pelagic species ranging at depths of 150m (490 ft) to the ocean surface. Although this shark is most commonly found throughout the open ocean it has also been known to inhabit coastal island waters and inlets. This shark is also one of only four endothermic sharks (meaning this shark can maintain thermal homeostasis primarily through internal metabolic processes). Densest populations occurring along the Atlantic from Argentina to the Gulf of Mexico and Nova Scotia. However these sharks are also found thorough out the Pacific, and Indian Oceans. These sharks are also one of the most extreme travelers of the shark world. Some sharks have been known to travel over 58km (36 miles) a day.
Anatomy and Appearance: The Shortfin Mako is cylindrical in shape, with a vertically-elongated tail that assists its highly hydrodynamic lifestyle. This species' color is brilliant metallic blue dorsally and white ventrally, although coloration varies as the shark ages and increases in size. 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. Larger specimens tend to possess darker coloration that extends onto parts of the body that would be white in smaller individuals. The juvenile mako differs in that it has a clear blackish stain on the tip of the snout. The Longfin mako shark very much resembles the Shortfin, but has larger pectoral fins, dark rather than pale coloration around the mouth and larger eyes. The presence of only one lateral keel on the tail and the lack of lateral cusps on the teeth distinguish the makos from the closely related porbeagle sharks of the genus Lamna. The Shortfin Mako is a fairly large species of shark. An average adult specimen will measure around 3.2 m (10 ft) in length and weigh from 60–135 kg (132–298 lb). Females are larger than males. The largest shortfin mako shark taken on hook-and-line was 600 kg (1,300 lb), caught off the coast of California on June 3, 2013. Larger specimens are known, with a few large, mature females exceeding a length of 3.8 m (12 ft) and a weight of 570 kg (1,260 LB). The longest verified length for a Shortfin Mako caught off France in September 1973, was 4.45 m (14.6 ft).
Diet, Hunting and Feeding Behavior: The shortfin mako feeds mainly upon cephalopods, bony fishes including mackerels, tunas, bonitos, swordfish, sailfish, and other large pelagic species. However Makos may also eat other sharks, porpoises, sea turtles, and seabirds. They hunt by lunging vertically up and tearing off chunks of their preys' flanks and fins. Makos swim below their prey, so they can see what is above and have a high probability of reaching prey before it notices. Biting the caudal peduncle (near the tail) can immobilize the prey. In Ganzirri and Isola Lipari, Sicily, shortfin makos have been found with amputated swordfish bills impaled into their head and gills, suggesting that swordfish seriously injure and likely kill makos. In addition, this location, and the late spring and early summer timing, corresponding to the swordfish's spawning cycle, suggests that these makos hunt while the swordfish are most vulnerable, typical of many predators.