Cuban Fishing, 3-7-15, Marrajo Dientuso Or Dentuso, Cuba - Michel Nr 2534 by Bernd Kirschner Via Creative Commons.

Marrajo Dientuso

The Marrajo Dientuso Or Shortfin Mako Shark.

Cuban Fishing, 3/7/15:  Ernest Hemingway wrote about the dientuso or “dentuso” in “The Old Man and the Sea.”

… “But I killed the shark that hit my fish, he thought. And he was the biggest dentuso that I have ever seen. And God knows that I have seen big ones.”

Cuban Fishing, 3-7-15, Mako Shark Or Dientusu, n280_w1150 by Biodiversity Heritage Library, Via Creative Commons.

“The shortfin mako or marrajo dientuso is a common, extremely active, offshore littoral and epipelagic speciesfound in tropical and warm temperate seas but seldom occurring in waters below 16°C.  This shark occurs from the surface down to at least 152 m.

Cuban Fishing, 3-7-15, Mako Shark Or Dientusu By Nik Wilets Via Creative Commons.
Cuban Fishing, 3-7-15, Mako Shark Or Dientuso By Nik Wilets Via Creative Commons.

The peregrine falcon of the shark world, the shortfin mako may be the fastest shark and one of the swiftest and most active fishes. It is famed as a jumper, leaping several times its length from the water, and is capable of extreme bursts of speed when hooked and in pursuit of prey. For a shark of such great fame, particularly in the angling literature, knowledge of its biology is surprisingly sketchy. The shortfin mako, in the extreme northern and southern parts of its range, has a tendency to follow movements of warm water masses polewards in the summer. General movements of this shark are not well known.

This species is ovoviviparous and a uterine cannibal, with 4 to 16 young in a litter.  The shortfin mako is primarily an eater of other fishes, with a wide variety of prey including mackerel, tuna, bonito, and other scombrids, anchovies, herring, grunts, lancetfish, cod, ling, whiting and other gadids, Australian salmon (Arripis ), yellowtails and other carangids, sea bass, porgies, swordfish, and other sharks(blue sharks, Prionace, gray sharks, Carcharhinus, and hammerheads Sphyrna ), but also sea turtle heads, a ‘porpoise’ (probably a pelagic dolphin), and also squid, salps, and occasional detritus.

Cuban Fishing, 3-7-15, Mako Shark Or Dientusu 2 By Nik Wilets Via Creative Commons.
Cuban Fishing, 3-7-15, Mako Shark Or Dientuso 2 By Nik Wilets Via Creative Commons.

Surprisingly, marine mammals (in the form of pelagic dolphins ) are rarely reported in the diet of the shortfin mako, but they may be expected particularly in large individuals of the species. Very large shortfin makos over 3 m long have broad, more flattened and triangular upper teeth, perhaps more suitable for dismembering large prey than the awl-shaped teeth of smaller makos.”

Source:  Shortfin Mako.

Featured Illustration Source:  Mako Shark.

Feature Image:  Dientuso, Cuba By Bernd Kirschner, Via Creative Commons.