Fast and Furious: The Shortfin Mako Shark

No, the great white shark is not the only one out there. For the shortfin mako shark, with its incredible speed, and remarkable hunting skills rule the deep waters. Infact, they are known as the fastest breed of sharks, amongst other things, which you will understand once you are fed the statistics.

The shortfin mako are capable of cruising at 40 km/h, but it can reach 74 km/h, when in the mood! They were made to traverse the seas with great speed, unlike the longfin mako, their cousins, who prefer a leisurely pace. This speed of the shortfin mako is possible because of its centralized muscle structure, which is close to the backbone. It acts as a piston, and it is only natural that the shortfin mako propels forward. This, and their streamlined body, it seems that their bodily structure acts in quite a sync to make the shortfin mako the fastest. If you are thinking that the speed of the shortfin mako is limited to short distances, you are wrong, for this species can travel long distances at a fairly decent speed.

An average shortfin mako can grow upto 10 feet long, and the females tend to be larger than the male. As for its eating habits, they mostly prefer bony fish, because a fish has got the right to choose its own food after all. Talking about long distances, in 1998, a female shortfin mako was captured in the central Pacific by a Japanese research vessel. The unusual part was that the mako travelled way past its Californian dwelling, meaning that the total distance was around 2,776 km! But this is not the end of the shortfin mako's saga. These sharks can jump upto a height of approximately 30 feet, and things can go out of hand, if they happened to be hooked; they tend to jump into the boat! The shortfin mako usually swims around 60 km a day, pretty much hogging the limelight with their impeccable swimming abilities.

The shortfin mako's evolution to one of the fastest sharks is a long story spinning over 400 million years. But this shark which is known for its speed, is being hunted down for the same reason. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared it as 'vulnerable', which is quite a matter of concern. Let's hope that the shortfin mako speeds its way to a better future.

Post Written by - Lopamudra

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