5 Interesting Facts About Basking Sharks

Basking Shark

This is a basking shark showing off his big mouth. I wouldn’t want to be caught inside there!

I really like sharks, so today I thought that I would write about one of the biggest in the world, the basking shark.

Here are five interesting facts about them:

  1. They are the second largest fish in the world, only behind the whale shark.  They can grow up to 10 metres long and weigh 6 tonnes.
  2. Despite their size, they feed on tiny plankton.  They have a massive mouth that measures 1 metre across, which they keep open so that they can filter water through their huge gills that are lined with thousands of gill-rakers that catch the plankton.
  3. Basking sharks have a massive liver that makes up 25% of their body weight and helps them to float.
  4. They are called basking sharks as they often feed on top of the water, moving slowly as they go.
  5. They are found in cool and temperate waters throughout the world, especially not too far from the coast.  They are vulnerable to extinction as they have been hunted for a range of reasons and take a long time to breed.  Hopefully their numbers will rise again.

I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.

Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about basking sharks?

Similar species:

Great White Shark

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