Common name: Basking Shark

Scientific name: Cetorhinus maximus

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Lamniformes

Family: Cetorhinidae

Genus: Cetorhinus

Species: C. maximus

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Basking sharks are not that well known,.  Some people think that they are just sea monsters, but they're not. They are actually very gentle and they don't attack. The only thing that they eat is plankton; they do not eat humans or meat at all. They eat only plankton, so if you were to meet one there is nothing to worry about but you could still fit in its big mouth.

There are no more than 20,000 basking sharks in the whole world because the plankton levels fall and the basking sharks start to lose their gill rakers. People are hunting them down for materials. Basking sharks are usually found in cold to warm temperature waters. They are sometimes found in groups near the surface of the water when feeding. The normal size of a basking shark is about 11m [36ft] in length and they can weigh about 7 tons. Basking sharks are fish. They lay their eggs inside of the womb and then the eggs hatch inside the womb.

People don't really know how they reproduce, because there really aren't many basking sharks around. Basking sharks as you can probably see in this picture do not have gills on the outside they have it on the inside of their mouths so that's why they always have their mouths open, that and so they can catch zoo plankton.

Author: Amy B
Published: 02/2009

Sources: http://www.sharkinfo.ch/SI4_00e/cmaximus.html http://www.arkive.org/basking-shark/cetorhinus -maximus/info.html, www.mcss/SAGREN/sagren _v2_3_art1.html.

 

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Basking_Shark.jpg