The Basking shark

The Basking shark is one of the largest fish swimming in our oceans. In fact, it is the second largest shark, next to the Whale shark. When you look at pictures of Basking sharks, the first thing that you see is that it is often swimming with its mouth wide open to capture its preys.
What else do people know about this shark species? Not enough if you ask me!

This is why I have decided to share some interesting facts on Basking sharks. The Basking shark belongs to the order of the Lamniformes and its scientific name is Cetorhinus Maximus. The Basking shark description is quite simple. You can easily recognize it by its enormous size, its brownish color and its wide open mouth that captures particles of food present in the water.  

The size of the Basking shark can reach a length of 12 m and a maximal weight of 7,000 kg. Such an impressive size makes it hard to believe that its diet is mainly based on plankton, small crustaceans and fish eggs.  

Both its size and the fact that it is not bothered by humans' presence makes it a vulnerable species. While it is now protected in several countries, some fishermen still hunt them down. Did you know that Basking sharks provide 400 L of oil, a ton of meat and that its liver which is rich in vitamins can represent 20% of its weigh? As you can see, all these factors have contributed to the fact that they are now protected by laws.

Their natural habitat is mainly located in temperate and coastal arctic waters. It is rarely found in tropical areas. Their reproductive system is not well known but they are believed to be ovoviviparous, which means that eggs hatch inside them but they give birth to live pups. Their litters do not have many youngs.

Basking sharks are nowadays, mainly targeted by ecotourism based businesses. Scientists are only starting to learn a bit more about the Basking shark by tagging them; they are obtaining a lot of precious information about them.

 If you wish to learn more about other types of sharks, I invite you to visit the following main page: Types of sharks.