Tags: Taxonomy,  Mackerel Sharks,  Great White 

Mackerel Sharks

Order: Lamniformes

Mackerel Sharks include the famous Threshers, Makos, and the most famous of them all, the Great White Shark. (Many biologists and shark enthusiasts call it by its less theatrical name of White Shark). Most Mackerel Sharks are the apex predator of their habitat, however two of the great filter-feeding sharks, Basking and Megamouth Sharks, eat mostly plankton.

Photo Gallery

The most famous sharks belong to the Mackerel Shark family

Characteristics of Mackerel Sharks

# of species

15

Body shape

Rounded. Range from 3.6 feet (Crocodile Shark) to 32 feet (Basking Shark)

Mouth position

Underneath (subterminal), extends well past eyes

Anal fin

Yes

Dorsal fin

2

Fin spines

No

# of gill slits

5

Reproduction

Ovoviviparous (eggs developing in the female's body with no placenta and born alive). Some species are oviphagous (fetuses eat unfertlized eggs). Sandtiger pups will feed on siblings in-utero.

Unique qualities

"lamnoid dental pattern" in many species: large anterior teeth, smaller intermediate, large laterals and smaller posteriors.

Habitat

Marine; coastal to open-ocean; cold temperate to tropical , Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans

Food

Fish, squid, up to sea mammals. 2 species filter plankton


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The 15 Species of Mackerel Shark

Family Mitsukurinidae - Goblin Shark

Species

Common name

Mitsukurina owstoni

Goblin Shark

Carcharias taurus

Sand Tiger Shark, Spotted Ragged-tooth Shark

 

Family Odontaspididae - Ragged-Tooth Sharks

Species

Common name

Odontaspis ferox

Smalltooth Sandtiger

Odontaspis noronhai

Bigeye Sandtiger

 

 Family Alopiidae - Thresher Sharks

Species

Common name

Alopias pelagicus

Pelagic Thresher

Alopias superciliosus

Bigeye Thresher

Alopias vulpinus

Thresher Shark

 

Family Megachasmidae - Megamouth Shark 

Species

Common name

Megachasma pelagios

Megamouth Shark

 

Family Pseudocarchariidae - Crocodile Shark 

Species

Common name

Pseudocarcharias kamoharai

Crocodile Shark

 

Family Cetorhinidae - Basking Shark

 Species

Common name

Cetorhinus maximus

Basking Shark

 

Family Lamnidae - Mackerel Sharks 

Species

Common name

Carcharodon carcharias

Great White Shark

Isurus oxyrinchus

Shortfin Mako

Isurus paucus

Longfin Mako

Lamna ditropis

Salmon Shark

Lamna nasus

Porbeagle

 

 Red indicates inclusion on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

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