Mackerel sharks consist of 8 families, 10 genera and 17 species. They are a rather diverse group that lack a singular distinguishing characteristic and for the identification a combination of different features is needed such as: Origin of mouth behind the eyes, conical snout, a pair of 5 gill slits, 2 dorsal fins and no nicitiating membrane. Many of the sharks possess a counter-current circulatory system. This system enables them to maintain a higher body temperature and live in colder waters. Mackerel sharks include the biggest and fastest predators like White Sharks or Makos.
Most Mackerel sharks can raise their body temperature by means of a heat exchange system (rete mirabilis).
Typical species of the order of "Mackerel sharks":
© Jeremy Stafford Deitsch