Isurus is a genus of mackerel sharks in the family Lamnidae, commonly known as the mako sharks.

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous - recent [1][2]
Shortfin mako swfsc.jpg
Shortfin mako shark (I. oxyrinchus)
Isurus paucus.jpg
Longfin mako shark (I. paucus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Lamnidae
Genus: Isurus
Rafinesque, 1810
Type species
Isurus oxyrinchus
Rafinesque, 1810
  • Isuropsis Gill, 1862
  • Lamiostoma Glikman, 1964
  • Oxyrhina Agassiz, 1838
  • Oxyrrhina Bonaparte, 1846
  • Plectrostoma Gistel, 1848


The two living species are the common shortfin mako shark (I. oxyrinchus) and the rare longfin mako shark (I. paucus). They range in length from 2.5 to 4.5 m (8.2 to 14.8 ft), and have an approximate maximum weight of 680 kg (1,500 lb). They both have a distinctive blue-gray color scheme common among mackerel sharks.

Several extinct species are known from fossils found in sediments from the Cretaceous to the Quaternary (age range: 99.7 to 0.781 million years ago).[1]

The family Lamnidae also includes the great white shark and the porbeagle. Mako sharks are capable of swimming at speeds up to 32 km/h (20 mph).[3] The great white shark is also closely related to an ancient mako shark species, Isurus hastalis. However, fossil evidence suggests I. hastalis, like the great white shark, also belonged to the genus Carcharodon.[4]


The genus contains these species:[1]

Fossil teeth of I. hastalis

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Fossilworks
  2. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera (Chondrichthyes entry)". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30.
  3. ^ Peter Klimley, A.; Beavers, Sallie C.; Curtis, Tobey H.; Jorgensen, Salvador J. (2002). "Movements and Swimming Behavior of Three Species of Sharks in La Jolla Canyon, California". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 63 (2): 117–135. doi:10.1023/A:1014200301213.
  4. ^ Ehret, Dana J.; MacFadden, Bruce J.; Jones, Douglas S.; Devries, Thomas J.; Foster, David A.; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo (2012). "Origin of the white shark Carcharodon (Lamniformes: Lamnidae) based on recalibration of the Upper Neogene Pisco Formation of Peru". Palaeontology. 55 (6): 1139–1153. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2012.01201.x.
  5. ^ Smith, J.L.B. Sharks of the Genus Isurus Rafinesque, 1810. Ichthyological Bulletin; No. 6. Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
  6. ^ 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