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Local Sharks At A Glance

August 25, 1989

The ocean off Orange County is home to a number of deep-water shark species, including the great white, hammerhead and thresher.

The most common species, however, are the blue and the mako.

Blue Shark (Prionace Glauca)

The most numerous sharks in local waters based on sightings and captures. Present year-round. Rarely seen near shore. No estimates of population.

Long slender body, typically five to six feet long, but reported as large as 12 feet. Most in the area are under 150 pounds.

Distinctive cobalt-blue coloring on top, fading to iridescent blue at the sides. White on the bottom. Triangular teeth with serrated edges.

Feeds on squid, anchovies, sardines. Also garbage, larger fish and other sharks. Has attacked humans.

Generally moves slowly, snaking through water near the surface. Can achieve great bursts of speed when attacking.

Mako Shark (Isurus Oxyrinchus)

Closest cousin to the great white shark.

Common in coastal waters between mainland and Santa Catalina Island from June to October. Rarely seen near shore.

Sleek but not as streamlined as the blue shark. Grows to 12 feet. Most in the area are under 150 pounds.

Gray to brownish-blue coloring on top fading to white on bottom. Long, narrow, smooth-edged, inward curving teeth designed for impaling fish.

Feeds on mackerel, tuna, swordfish, other sharks. Has attacked humans.

Very aggressive and fast. Capable of swimming 35 m.p.h. and can jump well clear of the water. Known to attack boats.

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