Isurus oxyrinchus   Rafinesque,  1810 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Elasmobranchii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Max length : 400 cm TL (male/unsexed); common length : 270 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Max. weight reported: 505.8 kg

Color: Dark blue above, white below.

A large shark of fusiform and rather slender body and a long and acutely pointed snout. Head with 5 long gill slits, all in front of pectoral fin origins; gill arches without rakers; spiracles very small; mouth broadly rounded and notably long. Teeth strong and relatively few, alike in both jaws, backward-pointing, somewhat flexuous in outline, smooth-edged, with a single cusp; the first 2 in each jaw much the largest, recurved at base but curve reversed at tips. Two very unequal dorsal fins, the first comparatively large, its origin posterior to inner corners of pectoral fins when latter are laid back, its apex bluntly rounded (young) to acutely pointed (adults); pectoral fins moderately long (shorter than head) and falcate; anal fin origin below about middle of second dorsal fin base; caudal fin lunate, its lower lobe strongly developed. Caudal peduncle very much flattened dorso-ventrally, but expanded laterally, with a prominent keel on each side extending well out on caudal fin.

Dioecious, internal (oviduct) fertilization, internal live bearers. Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding on other ova produced by the mother (oophagy) after the yolk sac is absorbed. With up to 18 young in a litter. Gives birth to litters of 4-25 (usually 10-18) pups after a gestation period of 15-18 months; reproduces every 3 years. Size at birth between 60 and 70 cm. Distinct pairing with embrace.

Max. age reported: 25 years

Probably the fastest of all sharks and can leap out of the water when hooked. Potentially dangerous and responsible for unprovoked attacks on swimmers and boats.

Synonym (s)
Carcharias tigris Atwood, 1869
(Junior synonym)
Isuropsis dekayi Gill, 1862
(Junior synonym)
Isuropsis glaucus (Muller and Henle, 1839)
(Junior synonym)
Isuropsis mako (Whitley, 1929)
(Junior synonym)
Isurus africanus Smith, 1957
(Junior synonym)
Isurus bideni Phillipps, 1932
(Junior synonym)
Isurus cepedii (Lesson, 1831)
(Junior synonym)
Isurus glauca Muller & Henle, 1969
Isurus glaucus (Muller & Henle, 1839)
(Ambiguous synonym)
Isurus guentheri (Murray, 1884)
(Junior synonym)
Isurus guntheri Misra, 1969
Isurus oxyrhincus Rafinesque, 1810
(Senior synonym)
Isurus paucus (non Guitart Manday, 1966)
(Misapplied name)
Isurus spallanzani Rafinesque, 1810
(Junior synonym)
Isurus tigris (Atwood, 1869)
(Junior synonym)
Isurus tigris africanus Smith, 1957
(Junior synonym)
Lamna glauca (Muller & Henle, 1839)
(Junior synonym)
Lamna guentheri Murray, 1884
(Junior synonym)
Lamna guntheri Day, 1888
Lamna huidobrii Philippi, 1887
(Junior synonym)
Lamna latro Owen, 1853
(Ambiguous synonym)
Lamna oxyrhina Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1838
(Junior synonym)
Lamna punctata (non Storer, 1839)
(Misapplied name)
Oxyrhina glauca Muller & Henle, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Oxyrhina gomphodon Muller & Henle, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Squalus cepedii Lesson, 1831
(Junior synonym)
Isurus mako Whitley, 1929
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Atlantic Mako (English)
• Blue Pointer (English)
• Blue Shark (English)
• Shartfin Mako (English)
• Bonito Shark (English)
• Dog Shark (English)
• Mackerel Porbeagle (English)
• Mackerel Shark (English)
• Mako (English)
• Mako Shark (English)
• Pointed Nose Shark (English)
• Sharpnose Mackerel Shark (English)
• Sharp Nose Mackerel Shark (English)
• Sharp Nosed Mackerel Shark (English)
• Sharp Nosed Shark (English)
• Shortfin Mako (English)
• Shortfin Shark (English)
• Short Finned Mako (English)
• Snapper Shark (English)
• Tribon Blou (English)
• Gunumu Sorrah (Tamil)
• Ganumu Sorrah (Tamil)
• Ganumu Sora (Telugu)
• Shortfin Mako Shark
• Gaumu Sorrah (Tamil)
• Vorimasmiyaru
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish. Utilized fresh, dried or salted, smoked and frozen; eaten broiled and baked. Valued for its fine quality meat as well as its fins and skin. Oil is extracted for vitamins and fins for shark-fin soup. Jaws and teeth are also sold as ornaments and trophies.
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(It is subject to significant bycatch and targeted fisheries in some areas. Most catches are inadequately or un-recorded, and its relatively low reproductive capacity makes it very susceptible to depletion by these fisheries.)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Bony fishes, other sharks, cephalopods
IUCN Status:  NearThreatened


• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Red Sea
• Kerala, Kochi Fisheries Harbour INDIA (Record: 01/2008-06/2009)

Literature Source(s)
  • Venkataraman, K; Milton, MCJ and Raghuram, KP (2003) Handbook on sharks of Indian waters ZSI, Kolkata 1-113
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Mould, B (1999) Classification of the recent Elasmobranchiia A classification of the living sharks and rays of the world Third edition Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Compagno, LJV; Last, PR; Stevens, JD and MNR, Alava (2005) Checklist of Philippine Chondrichthyes CSIRO Marine Laboratories 104 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at -
  • Raje, SG; Sivakami, S; Mohanraj, G; Manoj Kumar, PP; Raju, A and Joshi, KK (2007) An atlas on the Elasmobranch fishery resources of India CMFRI Special publication CMFRI, Cochin, India. 95 253pp Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Akhilesh, KV; Ganga, U; Pillai, NGK; Vivekanandan, E; Bineesh, KK; Shanis, CPR and Hashim, M (2011) Deep-sea fishing for chondrichthyan resources and sustainability concerns-a case study from southwest coast of India Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences NISCAIR 40(3) 347-355 Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-02-20

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