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Encyclopedia > Basking shark
Basking shark
Fossil range: Early Oligocene to Present[1]

Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Cetorhinidae
Gill, 1862
Genus: Cetorhinus
Blainville, 1816
Species: C. maximus
Binomial name
Cetorhinus maximus
(Gunnerus, 1765)
Range (in blue)
Range (in blue)

The basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus, is the second largest fish, after the whale shark. It is a cosmopolitan species - it is found in all the world's temperate oceans. It is a slow moving and generally harmless filter feeder. The Oligocene epoch is a geologic period of time that extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1800x1200, 401 KB) Photo by Chris Gotschalk. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species remaining extant either in the present day or the near future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn2. ... This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses and Orders See text. ... Superorders Batoidea (rays and skates) Selachimorpha (sharks) Elasmobranchii is the subclass of cartilaginous fish that includes skates, rays (batoidea) and sharks (selachii). ... Families Odontaspididae (sand tigers) Mitsukurinidae (goblin shark) Pseudocarchariidae (crocodile shark) Megachasmidae (megamouth shark) Alopiidae (thresher sharks) Cetorhinidae (basking shark) Lamnidae (mackerel sharks) Great Lamniformes is an order of sharks commonly known as the mackerel sharks. ... Theodore Nicholas Gill (1837 - 1914) was an American ichthyologist. ... Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (September 12, 1777 - May 1, 1850) was a French zoologist and anatomist. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Johann Ernst Gunnerus (1718 - September 23, 1773) was a Norwegian bishop and botanist. ... Year 1765 (MDCCLXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 370 pixelsFull resolution (1357 × 628 pixel, file size: 23 KB, MIME type: image/gif) Picture of the distribution of the basking shark, used [1] as main ref and also [2] and used Image:BlankMap-World-noborders. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Binomial name (Smith, 1828) Range of whale shark The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow filter feeding shark that is the largest living fish species. ... A cosmopolitan distribution is a term applied to a biological category of living things meaning that this category can be found anywhere around the world. ... Filter feeders (also known as suspension feeders) are animals that feed by straining suspended matter and food particles from water, typically by passing the water over a specialized structure, such as the baleen of baleen whales. ...


Like other large sharks, basking sharks are at risk of extinction due to a combination of low resilience and overfishing to supply the worldwide market for the shark's fins, flesh and organs. For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Extinction (disambiguation). ... The Traffic Light colour convention, showing the concept of Harvest Control Rule (HCR), specifying when a rebuilding plan is mandatory in terms of precautionary and limit reference points for spawning biomass and fishing mortality rate. ...

Contents

Taxonomy

This shark is called the basking shark because it is most often observed when feeding at the surface and appears to be basking. It is the only member of the family Cetorhinidae. It was first described and named Cetorhinus maximus by Gunnerus in 1765 from a specimen found in Norway. The genus name Cetorhinus comes from the Greek, ketos which means marine monster or whale and rhinos meaning nose, the species name maximus is from Latin and means "greatest". It was later described as Squalus isodus by Macri in 1819, Squalus elephas by Lesueur in 1822, Squalus rashleighanus by Couch in 1838, Squalus cetaceus by Gronow in 1854, Cetorhinus blainvillei by Capello in 1869, Selachus pennantii by Cornish in 1885, Cetorhinus maximus infanuncula by Deinse & Adriani 1953, and finally as Cetorhinus maximus normani by Siccardi 1961.[3] ... Categories: People stubs | French naturalists | 1778 births | 1846 deaths ...


Distribution and habitat

The basking shark is a coastal-pelagic shark found worldwide in boreal to warm-temperate waters around the continental shelves. It prefers waters between 8 and 14° C (46 and 57° F). It is often seen close to land and will enter enclosed bays. The shark will follow concentrations of plankton in the water column and is therefore often visible on the surface. They are a highly migratory species leading to seasonal appearances in certain areas of the range.[4] The pelagic zone is the part of the open sea or ocean comprising the water column, i. ... A thermometric scale whose name is synonymous with the Celsius scale. ... For other uses, see Fahrenheit (disambiguation). ... This article is about the real-life under-sea organisms. ...


Anatomy and appearance

Male basking shark
Male basking shark

The basking shark is one of the largest known sharks, second only to the whale shark. The largest specimen accurately measured was trapped in a herring net in the Bay of Fundy, Canada in 1851. Its total length was 12.27 metres (40.3 ft), and weighed an estimated 19 tons. There are reports from Norway of three basking sharks over 12 m (the largest being 13.7 m), but those are considered dubious since few if any sharks anywhere near such size have been caught in the area since. Normally the basking shark reaches a length of between 6 metres (20 ft) and a little over 8 metres (26 ft). Some specimens surpass 9 or even 10 metres (33 ft), but after years of hard fishing, specimens of this size have become exceedingly rare. Image File history File links Male Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus). ... Image File history File links Male Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus). ... Binomial name (Smith, 1828) Range of whale shark The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow filter feeding shark that is the largest living fish species. ... The Bay of Fundy (French: ) is a bay located on the Atlantic coast of North America, on the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the U.S. state of Maine. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ...


These sharks possess the typical lamniform body plan and have been mistaken for great white sharks. The two species can be easily distinguished, however, by the basking shark's cavernous jaw (up to 1 m in width, held wide open whilst feeding), longer and more obvious gill slits (which nearly encircle the head and are accompanied by well-developed gill rakers), smaller eyes, and smaller average girth. Great white sharks possess large, dagger-like teeth, whilst those of the basking shark are much smaller (5–6 mm) and hooked; only the first 3 or 4 rows of the upper jaw and 6 or 7 rows of the lower jaw are functional. There are also several behavioural differences between the two (see Behaviour). Families Odontaspididae (sand tigers) Mitsukurinidae (goblin shark) Pseudocarchariidae (crocodile shark) Megachasmidae (megamouth shark) Alopiidae (thresher sharks) Cetorhinidae (basking shark) Lamnidae (mackerel sharks) Great Lamniformes is an order of sharks commonly known as the mackerel sharks. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Range (in blue) For other uses, see Great White (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Gill (disambiguation). ... Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ... A millimetre (American spelling: millimeter, symbol mm) is an SI unit of length that is equal to one thousandth of a metre. ...


Other distinctive characteristics of the basking shark include a strongly keeled caudal peduncle, highly textured skin covered in placoid scales and a layer of mucus, a pointed snout (which is distinctly hooked in younger specimens), and a lunate caudal fin. In large individuals the dorsal fin may flop over when above the surface. Colouration is highly variable (and likely dependent on observation conditions and the condition of the animal itself): commonly, the colouring is dark brown to black or blue dorsally fading to a dull white ventrally. The sharks are often noticeably scarred, possibly through encounters with lampreys or cookiecutter sharks. The basking shark's liver, which may account for 25% of its body weight, runs the entire length of the abdominal cavity and is thought to play a role in buoyancy regulation and long-term energy storage. Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ... Denticles or placoid scales are small outgrowths which cover the skin of many cartilaginous fish including sharks. ... Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs light more than does air. ... Dorsal fin of an orca A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of fishes, whales, dolphins, and porpoises, as well as the (extinct) ichthyosaurs. ... For other uses, see Lamprey (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Isistius brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) The Cookiecutter shark, Isistius brasiliensis (also known as the Cigar shark or Luminous shark) is a small rarely-seen dogfish shark. ... In physics, buoyancy is the upward force on an object produced by the surrounding fluid (i. ...


In females, only the right ovary appears to be functional: if so, this is a unique characteristic among sharks. // For ovary as part of plants see ovary (plants) An ovary is an egg-producing reproductive organ found in female organisms. ...


Diet

The basking shark is a passive filter feeder, filtering zooplankton, small fish and invertebrates from up to 2,000 tons of water per hour.[3] Unlike the megamouth shark and whale shark, the basking shark does not appear to actively seek its quarry, but it does possess large olfactory bulbs that may guide it in the right direction. Unlike the other large filter feeders, it relies only on the water that is pushed through the gills by swimming; the megamouth shark and whale shark can suck or pump water through their gills.[3] Filter feeders (also known as suspension feeders) are animals that feed by straining suspended matter and food particles from water, typically by passing the water over a specialized structure, such as the baleen of baleen whales. ... This article is about the real-life under-sea organisms. ... Invertebrate is an English word that describes any animal without a spinal column. ... Binomial name Megachasma pelagios Taylor, Compagno and Struhsaker, 1983 The megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios, is an extremely rare and unusual species of shark, discovered in 1976, with 37 specimens known to be caught or sighted as of 2006. ... Binomial name (Smith, 1828) Range of whale shark The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow filter feeding shark that is the largest living fish species. ... The olfactory bulb is a structure of the vertebrate forebrain involved in olfaction, the perception of odors. ...


Behaviour

Head of a basking shark.
Head of a basking shark.

Studies in 2003 have disproved the idea that basking sharks hibernate and have shown that they are active throughout the year.[5] In winter, basking sharks move to deeper water (depths of up to 900 m) feeding on deep water plankton. Satellite tagging confirmed that basking sharks move thousands of kilometres during the winter months locating plankton blooms. It was also found that basking sharks shed and renew their gillrakers in an ongoing process, rather than over one short period. Head of a Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) from NOAAs Northeast Fisheries Science Center. ... Head of a Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) from NOAAs Northeast Fisheries Science Center. ... “km” redirects here. ...


They feed at or close to the surface with their mouths wide open and gill rakers erect. They are slow-moving sharks (feeding at about 2 knots) and do not attempt to evade approaching boats (unlike great white sharks). They are harmless to humans if left alone and will not be attracted to chum. A knot is a unit of speed abbreviated kt or kn. ...


Basking sharks are social animals and form schools segregated by sex, usually in small numbers (3 or 4) but reportedly up to 100 individuals.[4] Their social behaviour is thought to follow visual cues, as although the basking shark's eyes are small, they are fully developed and have been known to visually inspect boats, possibly mistaking them for conspecifics.[6] Females are thought to seek out shallow water to give birth.


These sharks have few predators, but orcas and tiger sharks are known to feed on them, and the aforementioned lampreys are often seen attached to them, although it is unlikely that they are able to cut through the shark's thick skin.[4] Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... For other uses, see Tiger shark (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Lamprey (disambiguation). ...


Even though the basking shark is large and slow it can breach and has been reported jumping fully out of the water.[7] This behaviour could be an attempt to dislodge parasites or comensals.[4] There are doubts as to the accuracy of these observations - since the basking shark has a recorded top swimming speed of 4 mph and has not been observed to jump, even under the stress of harpooning.[4] Whales exhibit various types of physical behaviour when they surface. ...


Reproduction

Basking sharks are ovoviviparous: the developing embryos first rely on a yolk sac, and as there is no placental connection, they later feed on unfertilized ova produced by the mother (a behaviour known as oophagy). Gestation is thought to span over a year (but perhaps 2 or 3 years), with a small though unknown number of young born fully developed at 1.5–2 m (5–6.5 ft). Only one pregnant female is known to have been caught; she was carrying 6 unborn young.[8] Mating is thought to occur in early summer and birthing in late summer, following the female's movement into shallow coastal waters. Ovoviviparous animals develop within eggs that remain within the mothers body up until they hatch or are about to hatch. ... The egg yolk is the yellow inside an egg. ... The placenta (Latin for cake, referencing its appearance in humans) is an ephemeral organ present in placental vertebrates, such as eutherial mammals and sharks during gestation (pregnancy). ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ... Oophagy (egg eating) is the practice of embryos feeding on eggs produced by the ovary while still inside the mothers uterus. ... Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. ...


The onset of maturity in basking sharks is not known but is thought to be between the age of 6 and 13 and at a length of between 4.6 and 6 m. Breeding frequency is also unknown, but is thought to be 2 to 4 years.


The seemingly useless teeth of basking sharks may play a role in courtship behaviour, possibly as a means for the male to keep hold of the female during mating.


Importance to humans

The "wonderful fish" described in Harper's Weekly on October 24, 1868, was likely the remains of a basking shark.
The "wonderful fish" described in Harper's Weekly on October 24, 1868, was likely the remains of a basking shark.

Historically, the basking shark has been a staple of fisheries because of its slow swimming speed, unaggressive nature and previously abundant numbers. Commercially it was put to many uses: the flesh for food and fishmeal, the hide for leather, and its large liver (which has a high squalene content) for oil.[4] It is currently fished mainly for its fins (for shark fin soup). Parts (such as cartilage) are also used in traditional Chinese medicine and as an aphrodisiac in Japan, further adding to demand. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 518 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 647 pixel, file size: 399 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 518 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 647 pixel, file size: 399 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Leather (disambiguation). ... The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body, and is an organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. ... Squalene is a natural organic compound originally obtained for commercial purposes primarily from shark liver oil, though there are botanic sources as well, including amaranth seed, rice bran, wheat germ, and olives. ... Synthetic motor oil For other uses, see Oil (disambiguation). ... Shark fin soup (or sharks fin soup) is a Cantonese cuisine delicacy commonly served as part of a Chinese feast, usually at special occasions such as weddings and banquets as a symbol of wealth and prestige. ... Shark cartilage is a popular dietary supplement used to combat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses, most notably cancer. ... Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. ... This article is about agents which increase sexual desire. ...


As a result of rapidly declining numbers, the basking shark has been protected and trade in its products restricted in many countries. It is fully protected in the UK, Malta, Florida and US Gulf and Atlantic waters. Targeted fishing for basking sharks is illegal in New Zealand.[8] The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the G8, the European Union, and NATO. Usually known simply as the United Kingdom, the UK, or (inaccurately) as Great Britain or Britain, the UK has four constituent... This article is about the U.S. State of Florida. ... United States may refer to: Places: United States of America SS United States, the fastest ocean liner ever built. ... The Atlantic Ocean, not including Arctic and Antarctic regions. ...


It is tolerant of boats and divers approaching it and may even circle divers, making it an important draw for dive tourism in areas where it is common.


Basking sharks and cryptozoology

On several occasions, "globster" corpses initially thought to be sea serpents or plesiosaurs have later been identified as likely to be the decomposing carcasses of basking sharks, as in the Stronsay beast and the Zuiyo Maru cases. Carcass that washed ashore near St. ... This article is about sea serpents in mythology and cryptozoology. ... Plesiosaurs extinct marine reptile with a small head on a long neck a short tail and four paddle-shaped limbs; of the Jurassic and Cretaceous period, they are best known for killing Fred Flintstone. ... Sketch of the Stronsay beast made by Sir Alexander Gibson in 1808. ... The Zuiya Maru was a a Japanese trawler that caught a creature initially claimed to be a prehistoric plesiosaur off the coast of New Zealand in 1977. ...


See also

Sharks Portal 

Image File history File linksMetadata Greyreefsharksmall2. ... // Sharks belong to the superorder Selachimorpha in the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. ... This is a list of fish common names. ... This is a list of fish families sorted alphabetically by scientific name. ...

References

  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera (Chondrichthyes entry)". Bulletins of American Paleontology 364: p.560. Retrieved on 01/09/08. 
  2. ^ Fowler (2000). Cetorhinus maximus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for this species' status
  3. ^ a b c C. Knickle, L. Billingsley & K. DiVittorio. Biological Profiles basking shark. Florida Museum of Natural History. Retrieved on 2006-08-24.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Leonard J. V. Compagno (1984). Sharks of the World: An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 
  5. ^ http://www.baskingsharks.org/view_folder.asp?folderid=6230&level2id=6212&rootid=6212&depth=2&level1=&toptab=1
  6. ^ Martin, R. Aidan. A Curious Basker. SHARK-L. Retrieved on 2006-08-03.
  7. ^ Pelagic Shark Research Foundation. PSRF Shark Image Library. PSRF. Retrieved on 2006-06-01.
  8. ^ a b The Shark Trust. Basking Shark Factsheet. The Shark Trust. Retrieved on 2006-07-07.
General references

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... FishBase is a comprehensive database of information about fish. ... The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) is a partnership designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species. ... is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus MarineBio"
  • ARKive entry on the Basking Shark
  • Basking Shark Profile and Photos
  • 9 m Basking Shark captured in Japan
  • Basking Shark Project
  • The basking shark web page
  • Fisheries & Oceans Canada - Basking sharks on the west coast of Canada
Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Basking Shark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (911 words)
Like other large sharks, Basking Sharks are at risk of extinction due to a combination of low resilience and overfishing through mankind's increasing demands for the sharks' flesh and organs: the flesh for food and fishmeal, the fins for shark fin soup, the hide for leather, and the liver for its oil.
Although Basking Sharks are often sighted close to land and in enclosed bays during warmer months, they are highly migratory and seem to disappear entirely during the fall and winter; during this time they remain at the bottom in deep water where they may hibernate and lose their gill rakers: this hypothesis is however disputed.
Basking Sharks are ovoviviparous: the developing embryos first rely on a yolk sac, and as there is no placental connection, they later rely on unfertilized ova produced by the mother (a behaviour known as oophagy).
Shark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3661 words)
Shark eyes are similar to the eyes of other vertebrates, including similar lenses, corneas and retinas, though their eyesight is well adapted to their marine environment with the help of a tissue called tapetum lucidum.
Sharks include everything from the hand-sized Pygmy Shark, a deep sea species, to the Whale Shark, the largest fish (although sharks are not closely related to bony fish) which is known to grow to a maximum length of approximately 15 metres (49 feet) and which, like the great whales, feeds only on plankton.
Sharks are often killed for shark fin soup, in which many sharks are hunted for their fins, which are cut off with a hot metal blade before the live animal is tossed back into the water.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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