Basking Shark (Cetorhinus Maximus) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name - Basking Shark

Scientific Name : Cetorhinus Maximus 

Type : Aquatic Animal 

Age : 20 To 100 Years 

Diet : Carnivore

 

Basking Shark

Physical Characteristics:

Length : 6m – 12m

Colour : Brown , Grey , Black 

Skin Type : Smooth 

Lifespan : 20 to 100 years

Current Population : Around 10000

Current Population Trend : Declining 

Native : Atlantic And Indian Ocean

 

Facts

Main Pray : Fish , Plankton , invertebrates

Habitat : Temperate Waters Along Continental shelves 

Water Type : Salt 

Average Clutch Size : 6 

Distinctive Feature : Enormous Mouth And Large Body Size  

Favorite Food : Fish , Plankton , invertebrates

Amazing Facts

1. The basking shark’s common name derives from its habit of feeding at the surface, appearing to be basking in the warmer water there. It has anatomical adaptations for filter feeding, such as a greatly enlarged mouth and highly developed gill rakers. They weigh between 6,600 and 13,000 pounds.

2. Although it has hundreds of small teeth, the basking shark does not use them when feeding; instead, it usually swims with its mouth open and catches whatever plankton is filtered through. It is one of three plankton-eating sharks along with the whale shark and megamouth shark.

3. The basking shark inhabits all oceans of the world, but it prefers the subpolar seas, and in general, cold and temperate waters of the continental shelves, though a recent study discovered that they do migrate to warmer waters.

4. Despite their large size and threatening appearance, basking sharks are not aggressive and are harmless to divers and snorkelers, just like whale sharks. And though they are large and slow, these sharks can breach, jumping entirely out of the water.

5. Little is known about basking sharks’ mating and reproduction. Mating is thought to occur in early summer with pups being born in late summer. Gestation is thought to span at least a year and possibly as long as two to three years. It’s unknown how many pups a female basking shark carries; one pregnant female that was caught was carrying six unborn young. The basking shark gives birth only once every two to four years and its life expectancy is 50 years.

6. It is considered a relatively social shark, with schools generally divided by sex. Sometimes, they can form schools of up to 100 individuals.

7. Basking sharks are often noticeably scarred, possibly due to encounters with lampreys or cookiecutter sharks.

8. The IUCN Red List indicates the basking shark is a Vulnerable species. It is a fully protected species in the UK, Malta, New Zealand Florida and U.S. Gulf coast.

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