Basking Shark Facts

Today we learn about surprising and fascinating facts about Basking sharks. So let's dive into the ocean and take a closer look at the top 12 Basking shark facts.

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Basking Shark (pic source:thetimes.co.uk)

Scientific Classification of Basking Shark

  • Kingdom – Animalia
  • Phylum – Chordata
  • Class – Chondrichthyes
  • Order – Lamniformes
  • Family – Cetorhinidae
  • Genus – Cetorhinus
  • Species – Cetorhinus Maximus
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Basking Shark: Specialized gills filter plankton (pic source:asknature.org)

Basking Shark Facts

FACT 1. The basking shark, also known as the Cetorhinus maximus, is the world’s second-largest shark type.

FACT 2. Alternative names of the Basking sharks are:

  • Elephant shark
  • Bone shark
  • Big mouth shark
  • Hoe-mother
  • Sunfish
  • Sailfish.

Also Read: Top 10 Popular Types of Sharks.

FACT 3. They can grow up to 40 feet long and weigh up to 7 tons.

FACT 4. Did you know, basking sharks can open their mouth up to 1 meter wide?.

FACT 5. Basking sharks can often be seen swimming slowly close to the surface of the water. It is named “basking shark” because when it swims, it looks as if it is basking in the sun while it swims and collects food.

Also Read: Angel Shark Facts

Basking shark's jaw lined with tiny 2mm long teeth (pic source:abc.net.au)

FACT 6. The most exciting thing is that, although the size of the basking shark is gigantic, only tiny plankton is included in its diet.

FACT 7. These sharks can often be seen traveling through the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Sea of Japan, near New Zealand, and southern Australia’s waters. They can also be found near the coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

FACT 8. Do you know how this shark separates plankton from the water? They filter plankton out of the water with the help of gill rakers. At the same time, the shark expels excess water from its body through gill slits

FACT 9. The most interesting thing is that Gill Racer is changed every year. They are discarded during the winter months, and the new Gill Racer comes again in the spring.

FACT 10. The good news is They’re harmless and very social animals that travel in groups of few to nearly 100 animals.

FACT 11. It is estimated that basking sharks live for about 50 years.

FACT 12. It is estimated that the population of basking sharks has declined by up to 80% in the past 60 years due to overfishing.

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