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TYPES OF SHARKS
SHARK CHAT FORUM
Threat Level: low-medium
The Basking Shark is also known
as bone shark,
elephant shark & the big mouth shark.
- BASKING SHARK
Scientific Name....Cetorhinus Maximus
- General Information: The Basking shark is the
second largest fish in the world. It grows to be about 33 feet
in length, and is a bulky filter-feeder. Basking sharks are streamlined
and stout with a strong cresent-shaped tail fin and lateral keels.
The short snout is narrow and conical.
- Size: Females can measure up to 33 feet in
length, and males measure up to 30 feet. These huge sharks can
weigh approximately 4 tons.
- Teeth: The have hundreds of very small teeth
varying from triangular at the centre of the jaw to conical lateral
and are of little use. These seemingly useless teeth of basking
sharks may play a role in courtship behaviour, possibly as a means
for the male to keep hold of the female during mating.
- Color: Greyish-brown, black, and sometimes
bluish with an off-white underbelly.
- Feeding Habits: Basking Sharks sieve small
creatures out of the water. As it swims with it's mouth open,
gallons and gallons of water enter its mouth, carrying with it
prey, which includes plankton, fish eggs and baby fish. After
it closes its mouth, it uses gill rakers to filter the nourishment
from the water. The gill rakers are made up of thousands of bristles
are about 4 inches long. The water is expelled through the gills.
- Senses: They have well developed sight, and
smell, and can detect electric currents given off by their prey.
They also have the senses of taste touch and hearing.
- Social Behaviour: Basking sharks can congregate
in pairs, groups of up to 100 individuals, or travel by themselves.
- Habitat | Migration | Distribution: Basking
sharks live in temperate coastal waters and spend most of their
time at the surface. They are found off the coasts of western
North America from Baja to southern Alaska, off the east coast
of the US and southern Canada, along the Gulf Stream, to the entire
coastline of Europe, off the southern coast of Australia, off
South Africa, New Zealand, most of southern South America, the
Red Sea, and the coastlines of China and Japan. They migrate seasonally
moving north to feed in summer, and south in the cooler months.
- Life Span: Their life span is approximately
- Reproduction: Very little is known about their
reproduction, but females reach maturity at about 13-16 feet long,
and are thought to bear live young. Mating is thought to occur
in early summer and birthing in the following late summer.
- Swimming: A Basking shark travels at no more
than 3 mph. it moves it's whole body side to side to swim, as
opposed to most other species of sharks, who only use their tails.
- Basking Shark Attacks: Possibly dangerous if
- Population Report: Although their numbers
aren't known, they may be decreasing as this shark is hunted for
it's meat, fins and oil.