The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchusmeaning 'sharp nose') is a large mackerel shark. It is commonly referred to as the mako shark together with the longfin mako shark (Isurus paucus). In 1809, Constantine Rafinesque first described shortfin mako and coined the name Isurus oxyrinchus (Isurus means 'the same tail', oxyrinchus means 'pointy snout'). 'Mako' comes from the Mori language, meaning either the shark or a shark tooth. It may have originated in a dialectal variation as it is similar to the common words for shark in a number of Polynesian languagesmak in the Ki Tahu Mori dialect, mang in other Mori dialects, 'mago' in Samoan, ma'o in Tahitian, and mano in Hawaiian. The first written usage is in Lee & Kendall's Grammar and vocabulary of the language of New Zealand (1820), which simply states 'Mko; A certain fish'.
Contributions by GrahamBould, Stefan, and Yomangani.