Skip to main content

Basking Shark

We've learned about the world's largest shark, so now lets move on to number two! Basking Sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) can be found in arctic and temperate coastal areas around the world. They are extremely migratory, following the plankton supply during the seasons, and can grow over 12m in length.

Image Source
That's right. Plankton. Like Whale Sharks, Basking Sharks feed off of tiny little creatures, rather than hunting and consuming larger prey as many of sharks do. They swim around with their large mouths open, ingesting whatever finds its way in. They then close their mouth and trap all of the food with help from gill rakers. All of the excess water is then expelled through their gills. They do have many teeth, but they are small and largely unused. Basking Sharks give birth to live young, making them ovoviviparous.

Unfortunately, Basking Shark populations declined dramatically in the 20th century, due to overfishing. These Shrkas have extremely large livers that make up 25% of their overall weight. The livers are vitamin rich and contain oil that is a major motivation for hunting. The species is currently considered Vulnerable, and are unfortunately still being hunted illegally. Basking Sharks are not dangerous to humans.

Comments

  1. It has always amazed me how the Basking Shark (and the Whale Shark) are so large yet feed off of the tiniest prey items. It is probably good that they aren't true carnivores as I think everyone would be afraid to touch the ocean.

    I also love how this shark is unique by being ovoviviparous.

    Great post on an amazing animal!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Greater Kudu

Tragelaphus strepsiceros The Greater Kudu is one of the largest Antelope species out there, which the largest males standing over 5ft tall at the shoulder and weighing over 600lbs. They sport horns that equally as impressive in size-- the record is 72in. You'll find the Greater Kudus in southern and eastern Africa, where they inhabit scrub woodlands. Their brown coloration and white stripes allow them to remain camouflaged within these woody surroundings. The Kudus are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend the daytime hours hidden in these forested areas. However, their stripes are not their only defensive mechanism; they also sport very large ears that allow them to hear approaching danger. When alerted, the Antelope can try and bound away to safety. Female Greater Kudus tend to live in moderately sized groups with other females and offspring. Most mature males are solitary, and will only join up with these herds during the breeding period that corresponds with the end

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!