Basking shark Fun Facts!

By 27/11/2017Fish, Ι Education

The Basking shark is the 2nd largest fish on the planet, after the Whale shark. Just as the whale shark they have gill rakers with many tiny teeth, that they do not use to hunt. Instead, they filter feeds on plankton, using its 5 gill slits. Basking sharks reach a maximum size of about 8 to 10m. in length. and known to be very gentle and moving slow.

Its large mouth, which may gape one metre across, contains many small hooked teeth, more than any other shark! The teeth are so tiny that they are not visible at first sight.

Basking shark filter feeding © Dan Burton

Another interesting fact is that basking sharks have a very large liver that can weigh upto 25% of the body weight and provides buoyancy for its oceanic life.


Check out this video of a Basking shark near the port of Povoação in Sao Miguel island of the Azores. The species is distributed all over the world, but a rare sighting in the Azores, let alone to be close to the port!


About Milou

Milou is Marine Biologist, and was Marine Wildlife Guide at TERRA AZUL from 2010 to 2019. She is from Holland, and is passionate about being out in the ocean with wildlife, informing visitors, and collecting field imagery and data for local Cetaceans and Sea Turtles Research & Conservation projects.

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