Sharks are voracious predators and have been known to detect prey from many miles away. While they are not generally known for their speed, many people are surprised to discover that some species of shark can swim quite fast. The fastest shark is believed to be the Shortfin Mako Shark, which has been recorded at 50 km/h (31 mph) with burst speeds up to 74 km/h (46 mph). Some scientists believe that the Shortfin Mako Shark may be able to reach close to 100 km/h (62 mph), but this is subject to debate amongst marine biologists.
Interesting facts about the Shortfin Mako Shark
- They have been known to leap out of the water up to 9m (30 feet).
- This species of shark is a sort after game fish. They have been known to jump into a boat when hooked by an angler.
- Developing embryos eat the unfertilized eggs, but they do not eat each other in the womb like some sharks.
- They can live for over 30 years.
- This species of shark has been known to carry high levels of mercury.
- They have been known to attack humans on some occasions, but in most cases they have mistaken a person for other prey.
- They need to consume about 3% of their body weight in food each day.
- Have been known to travel very long distances. One tagged fish traveled over 2000 km in 37 days at an average of 58 km a day!