Longfin Mako shark

Not as fast as the Shortfin Mako

The Longfin Mako shark (Isurus paucus) is a species of mackerel shark in the family Lamnidae, with a likely worldwide distribution in temperate and tropical waters. It is an uncommon species of shark that is many times just lumped in under the name “Mako shark”. The Longfin Mako Shark is a pelagic species found in moderately deep water, having been reported to a depth of 720 feet. It is slimmer than the Shortfin Mako and grows to a length of about 14 feet. It is less active and much more sluggish and slower than the Shortfin Mako shark.

Family: Lamnidae – Mackrel Sharks


Genus: Isurus 

Species: paucus



Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles



Common Name– Mackerel

Family– Lamnidae

Genus– Isurus

Species– paucus

Status: IUCN Red List Vulnerable

Average Size and Length: 8-13 feet. Longest recorded is 13.7 feet (the largest reported Longfin Mako was a female caught off Pompano Beach, Florida, in February 1984).

Average Weight: Usually between 330 and 1,100 pounds. The Longfin Mako shark is the larger of the two species, but little is known and recorded of them.

Current Rare Mythical Sightings: Mako- Maori the New Zealand word for shark. To the Maori, they are sacred.

Teeth and Jaw: The teeth are triangular, long and smooth, hook-like and pointed. There are about 30 teeth in each jaw.  They are not serrated. The Longfin Mako has so many teeth that they stick out of its mouth even when it is closed, especially in the lower jaw. Blue, ‘U’ shaped mouth area.

Head: Broader snout and larger, black eyes than the Shortfin Mako

Tail: The Longfin Mako’s tail is crescentic or lunate with a lower lobe that is almost as large as the upper lobe. The Longfin Mako shark has a longitudinal ridge or a lateral caudal keel projecting on both sides of the body: caudal peduncle.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: Little is known about the Longfin Mako shark’s habitat. Research suggests that they are worldwide in all temperate and tropical waters, deep-water and open ocean: epipelagic. Numerous sightings have been off the coast of Africa

Diet: It is suggested that the Longfin Mako mainly preys on other schooling pelagic fish and squid.

Ram-Suction Index: Ram

Aesthetic Identification: The Longfin Mako shark has bigger eyes and pectoral fins. The long pectoral fins of a Lingfin Mako shark are about as long as it’s head. The Longfin Mako also has a blue mouth area, as opposed to a white mouth area like the Shortfin Mako.

The Longfin Mako shark can be described as a metallic blue backside and upper sides, and counter-shaded pale to white on the belly and lower sides. The mouth area of a Longfin Mako is blue or dusky in color.

The colorings on a Mako shark do get darker as they age.

Longfin Mako sharks are sleek, streamlined and spindle-shaped.

The Longfin Mako’s gill slits are just in front of the pectoral fins and it has long gill slits for more efficient gas exchange. The dorsal fin is between the pectoral and pelvic fins, and it has small pelvic fins, with a small second dorsal and anal fins back at the tail.

Biology and Reproduction: From what is known about the Longfin Mako shark, is that it is said to be aplacental viviparous and typically gives birth to 2 (to maybe 8) pups at a time. Other accounts say that it is ovoviviparous, and the fetuses of the Longfin Mako are larger than those of the Shortfin Mako. A type of intra-uterine cannibalism known as oviphagy (egg eating) may occur. Embryos that have hatched inside the female shark eat successive batches of unfertilized eggs. Therefore, only 1 pup is produced by each of the 2 uteri. Pups measure approximately 39 inches (100cm) in length at birth.

The Longfin Mako shark is warm-blooded.

Research suggests that a Longfin Mako’s lifespan is 20 years or more.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Little is known about the Longfin Mako behavioral traits.

Like all sharks, Longfin Mako sharks use their Ampullae of lorenzini and their lateral lines.

Research suggests that they have strong vision and large brains like that of the Shortfin Mako shark.

Unlike the Shortfin Mako, Longfin Mako sharks are less aggressive and keep to themselves, but they will fight back if they are caught.

Speed: The Longfin Mako is most likely a slow swimming and endothermic shark. As in other Lamnids, the Longfin Mako has counter current vascular heat exchangers for its body musculature, eyes, brain and viscera. This allows the animal to send heat to certain parts of the body when it is necessary, therefore the species can tolerate lower temperatures, which broadens its natural habitat.

Longfin Mako Sharks Future and Conservation

Longfin Mako Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: There are no recorded Longfin Mako shark attacks. However, it is still best to be cautious around these sharks. They are also known to fight back when caught.