72 pages, 40 colour photos, 15 b/w drawings
Superbly illustrated and meticulously researched, this book is the first reference for both general readers and specialists of everything that is known about the most beautiful, agile, fast, fascinating, and mysterious of all sharks: the mako shark. The elegant shape, the curved prominent teeth and the tail shaped like a halfmoon make them unmistakable. Mako sharks, shortfin mako and longfin mako, belong to the family Lamnidae, which also includes the great white shark. Makos have very ancient origins, appearing in prehistoric oceans between 40 and 60 million years ago. The shortfin mako can be considered among the fastest of all sharks, since it can reach speeds of 35-56 km/h and can jump out of the water to more than 6 meters in height. Makos have the speed and agility to catch fast swimming prey, such as tunas, swordfishes and dolphins. Some makos have been found with a swordfish bill driven into their body after fighting with prey. Makos are considered dangerous animals: attacks on divers, swimmers and boats are known, but are rare because these predators prefer offshore waters.
Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgments; The Authors; A Fascinating Predator of the Abyss; Classification and Nomenclature; General Morphology of Mako Sharks; Characteristics of Species; Similar Species; Dimensions; An Outline of Anatomy and Physiology; Reproduction; Habitat and Geographical Distribution; Migration; Diet and Predatory Behavior; Mako Attacks on Humans; Meeting the Mako in its Habitat; Symbionts and Predators; Commercial Fisheries and Various Utilizations of Mako Parts; The Recreational Fisheries; Mako in Captivity; Bibliography.
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Alessandro De Maddalena is one of Europe's foremost shark experts. He's the curator of the Italian Great White Shark Data Bank, the President of the Italian Icthyological Society and a founding member of the Mediterranean Shark Research Group. He's the author of two books on sharks and numerous scientific papers. He's also one of the world's best wildlife illustrators. His articles and illustrations have appeared in many wildlife magazines and scientific journals, including Annales, The World and I, Airone, Oceanorama, Mondo Sommerso, II Pesce, Aqva, Rivista Marittima, Apnea, Quark, Plongeurs International, Biologie in unserer Zeit, Unterwasser and others. Antonella Preti is a researcher at the National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center. She participated in various projects, such as studies of the Mediterranean Cetaceans, the behavior of the bottlenose dolphins in California, the construction of a model of growth and feeding behavior for the sheep crab, the restoration of the Marine Ecological Reserve of Mission Bay, California, the assessment of the biomass of Pacific sardines, finfish and squid at the West coast of the United States, the feeding behavior of the thresher, shortfin mako and blue sharks. Robert Smith has been fascinated by sharks from an early age. Dedicated to expanding scientific knowledge, he has studied marine life for almost twenty years.