Skip to main content

10 Interesting Mako Shark Fun Facts

How much do you know about this awesome king of the sea, the mako shark? Find out with these cool facts! Discover why they shouldn't stop swimming and other amazing facts!

Beano Team
Last Updated:ย  February 20th 2022

It's time for a shark fact-attack! We're looking at Mako sharks, one of the coolest, cleverest species of sharks around! So jump right in and fight out what makes them different from other sharks, why they can never stop swimming, and why they need our help! And if you enjoyed this, why not check out these super shark facts! And if you don't want to leave the ocean, we've got some fantastic fish facts too! There's tonnes more animal facts here if you can't get enough!

1. They are very clever

Mako shark with splats

Mako sharks are very intelligent, like most sharks. But they also have a bigger brain than any other sharks (relative to their bodies)! They can spot and identify predators and threats super quickly, and they have super sharp senses!

2. They are the fastest species of shark

Shark fin with surprised cheetah

Mako sharks are FAST! In particular, the shortfin mako, which is smaller with short fins, perfect for speed. Shortfin mako have been known to reach up to 31 mph, which might not sound like much...until one is chasing you! Don't worry, they're not very interested in people.

3. They are sacred to the Maori people

Maori statues with shark and splat

'Mako' means either 'shark' or 'shark tooth' in Maori, and are considered sacred to the Maori people. Maori jewellery often included Mako teeth, and they were also historically an important part of Maori diet. Some Polynesian legends consider the shark a guardian spirit, while one Maori story tells of the gods placing sharks in the sky to form the Milky Way.

4. They are warm blooded

Closeup on shark with salmon

Yup, they are one of only a small handful of sharks that are warm blooded, not cold blooded. They are called 'endotherms', and they maintain their own body heat, which helps them get up speed when they are hunting.

5. They hardly ever give birth

Shark with dolphin and cool crab

Mako sharks don't seem that bothered about giving birth. In fact, females will only give birth about three times in their lifetime! To put that into perspective, the average Great White shark gives birth every two years or so. Mako shark babies are born live, like mammals. Cute!

6. There are two species of Mako shark

Shark with screaming pineapple and splats

Mako sharks come in two types - the longfin and the shortfin (also known as the blue pointer or bonito shark). The shortfin is smaller and faster, while the longfin is a bit bigger, growing up to 14 feet long! But neither of them are small!

7. They love swordfish

Swordfish with arrow and goldfish

Well, they love to eat swordfish! Swordfish are a particular favourite of shortfin Mako sharks, although they also go for tuna, squid and sometimes even dolphin! Swordfish are a particularly tricky prey, since they have a big sharp nose, which often makes it tricky for the Mako shark to hunt them. Some Mako fish have even been found with swordfish beaks stuck in them! Ouch!

8. They are endangered

Sharks teeth with googly eyes

Mako sharks need your help! They are considered an endangered species because they often get killed by fisherman, either on purpose or accident. Their food supplies are also being depleted, making it harder for them to hunt. To help them, humans need to change the way they fish and use the seas resources, and charities like the Marine Conservation Society are working on bringing more awareness to this.

9. Longfins can dive up to 220m!

Salmon and arrow with Eiffel tower at bottom of the ocean

The longfin shark has been recorded diving to depths as low as 220m! That's more than two Statue of Libertys deep! They often like to hunt the sort of prey that lives at deeper depths, such as squid, so being able to dive is very important! How far can you dive?

10. They can't stop swimming!

Shark on sea floor with lobster

Mako sharks have to keep swimming at all times, otherwise they'll stop breathing! They are known as (fancy term coming up) 'obligate ram ventilators'. This means they get their oxygen when water washes over their gills. So if they're not moving - they can't breathe! Could you keep moving forever?