basking shark

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basking shark,

large, plankton-feeding shark, Cetorhinus maximus, inhabiting many oceans of the world, especially in temperate regions. Found singly or in schools of up to 100, it spends much of its time on or just below the surface, cruising slowly with its dorsal fin breaking water. It reaches a length of 40 ft (12 m) and weighs up to 8,500 lb (3,900 kg)—among fishes it is second in size only to the whale shark. It feeds by filtering out plankton as water passes into its mouth and out of the gills. Its gill openings are greatly enlarged to accommodate a large volume of water, and its throat is lined with numerous slender structures called gill rakers. These rakers, which are attached to the inside of the gill arches, form a fine mesh that serves as a strainer. The basking shark has a torpedo-shaped body, a nearly symmetrical tail fin, and long, conspicuous gill slits. Its color ranges from gray to black or brown. It is fished commercially, mostly by harpooning; its flesh is used for fish meal and its liver oil for certain tanning processes. It is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Chondrichthyes, order Selachii, family Cetorhinidae.

basking shark

a very large plankton-eating shark, Cetorhinus maximus, often floating at the sea surface: family Cetorhinidae
References in periodicals archive ?
On the subject of sharks, Ms Babey said: "The sighting of the basking shark was very unusual.
It was all very impromptu but, as soon as they saw the basking sharks and got close enough, they dived in.
Basking shark (cetorhinus maximus) | Photo by greg skomal" by Greg Skomal via Wikimedia Commons
Areas in Cardigan Bay, off the Northumberland coast and off the southern tip of the Cornish coast are all among the hotspots that the Wildlife Trusts want to see protected for dolphins, whales and basking sharks.
After several more tests on basking sharks, REMUS was getting closer to being great-white-ready.
Basking sharks are among the largest living neoselachians, exceeded only in size by the whale shark Rhincodon typus (Smith, 1828), attaining a maximum total length of 12.
Now in its fifth year, the trust's Seaquest Basking Shark Project has already recorded 28 sightings in June alone.
Spring and summer is traditionally when basking shark numbers are at their highest, due to the seasonal plankton bloom on which the sharks feed.
The basking sharks, who are most commonly seen along the U.
A proud moment for Massachusetts marine fisheries: Biologist Gregory Skomal, famous for his studies of local great white sharks and lead author of a study on the world's second-largest fish, the basking shark, has published results of his team's work.
Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, MCS biodiversity policy officer, said: "These recent reports of breaching basking sharks are very interesting because the behaviour is barely understood but could be associated with a form of communication.