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Basking shark

(Cetorhinus maximus)


Category: Fish



The basking shark is the second largest living fish after the whale shark and can be found in all the world’s temperate oceans. Like the whale shark and mega-mouth shark, they feed on plankton and are a slow-moving filter feeder. While they can appear threatening due to their size and gaping mouth, they are docile and pose no threat to humans. Satellite tracking shows that they move thousands of kilometers in the winter in search of plankton blooms. They are social animals that form sex-segregated schools that, while typically small, may reach around 100 individuals.



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Chondrichthyes
Order - Lamniformes
Family - Cetorhinidae
Genus - Cetorhinus
Species - C. maximus

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Undersea Conversations…

While it isn’t obvious, fish have ears, and are able to communicate to one another through sounds. They don’t have vocal chords, but instead vibrate their swim bladders, producing popping, grunting, moaning, barking, or chirping noises. While some species of fish, like the goldfish, are silent listeners, there are over 1000 species that are known to vocalize, and some, like the gurnard who are veritable chatterboxes. While we can’t have a conversation with them - at least not yet - it is theorized that they do it to attract mates, frighten away predators or competitors, to synchronize mating, call for help and warn others, or to orient themselves.

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