maxresdefault

This shark is a lot like a torpedo!

If you’re worried about sharks at the beach, you have little to fear from the shortfin mako. Shortfin makos are pelagic predators that live and feed far offshore, and because they do, they very rarely venture anywhere near the coast. They mainly prey upon ocean-going fish such as mackerel, tuna, sailfish, marlin, and swordfish, but there’s a catch. All of these fish are incredibly fast. But so are makos.

Shortfin Mako - Photo by Patrick Doll
Shortfin mako shark. Photo by Patrick Doll.

To follow and catch such speedy prey, makos have streamlined bodies designed for long distance cruising and short bursts of speed.

They have been known to travel over 1,725 miles (2,776 kilometers) across open sea, and they have been clocked at speeds between 25 mph (20 km/h) and 46 mph (74 km/h). This makes the shortfin mako the fastest shark in the ocean. In the video below, watch a mako easily catch up to a speeding powerboat.

In another video, off Ocean City, Maryland, another shortfin mako has little trouble following a fishing boat dragging trolling lures behind at speeds between 6 and 7 knots (7 and 8 mph). Even after grabbing a baitfish and falling far behind the boat, the mako manages to catch the boat (and devour more baitfish) again and again.