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isurus paucus


Mako sharks are a genus of shark from the order Lamniformes. They range in length from 9-15 feet, and have an average weight of 1,750 lbs.


Mako sharks, a poorly studied genus, have been discovered to possess a higher level of intelligence than other sharks. Most sharks have a nictitating membrane that shields the eyes from damage while attacking it's prey. Blue sharks, for example roll over this membrane every time they collide with an object, such as a bait box, used by fishermen to attract sharks. Mako sharks have been known to bypass this instinct, if they feel that they are not threatened.

In 1998, a small group of shark biologists and researchers went out in search of the Shortfin Mako. They were funded by the Discovery Channel for an episode in Shark Week, entitled Mako shark, A Smart Shark?. After befriending a mako shark for several hours, they attempted to touch its snout while it was feeding. At first it rolled its nictitaing membrane, but after further attempts by the crew, it did not retreat, and it did not roll its membrane over.


This genus contains two species:

Occurs in temperate and tropical seas worldwide.

Occurs in the Gulf Stream or warmer offshore waters.


  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is near threatened
  • Tony Ayling & Geoffrey Cox, Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand, (William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1982) ISBN 0-00-216987-8

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