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Transcript of Basking Shark
Basking sharks are planktonic feeders. By swimming with their mouths wide open, they filter plankton out of the water with their long, tightly set gill rakers. The water then exits the body via the gill slits. Most of the plankton which is ingested consists of copepods and other crustaceans, fish eggs and larvae.
Huge size, conical snout (cone shaped), sub-terminal mouth, extremely large gill slits, dark bristle-like gill rakers inside the gills (present most of the year), strong caudal keels and a lunate (curved) tail. They are mottled gray/brown to slate-gray or black in color, sometimes with lighter patches on the dorsal side. Life History
Basking sharks are ovoviviparous: the developing embryos first rely on a yolk sac, and there is no placental connection. Gestation is thought to span over a year (perhaps 2 or 3 years)
The age of maturity is not known but is thought to be between the ages of 6 and 13 and at a length of 4.6–6 metres
Relevance to humans
Years ago the animals were hunted for their huge liver with its high content of Vitamin A and oil. Today, most fishing has ceased except in China and Japan. The fins are sold as the base ingredient for shark fin soup. Bibliography
B Knickle, C. "Education, Biological Profiles". Florida museum of natural history. 4/21/2010 <http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/descript/baskingshark/baskingshark.html>.
Ritter, Dr. Erich. "Fact Sheet: Basking Sharks ". Research news and access information on the production, ecology,behavior and ecology of sharks. 4/21/2010 <http://www.sharkinfo.ch/SI4_00e/cmaximus.html>.
Col, Jeananda. Enchanted Learning. http://www.EnchantedLearning.com 1996, BASKING SHARK, 4/21/2010 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/species/Baskingshark.shtml
Adlen, Peter and Heath, Fred. 1998. National Audubon Society: Field Guide to California
New York: Chanticleer Press. 4/21/2010 http://bss.sfsu.edu/holzman/courses/fall%2003%20project/basking_shark.htm
The basking shark is a coastal-pelagic species found throughout the world's arctic and temperate waters. In the western Atlantic, it ranges from Newfoundland to Florida and southern Brazil to Argentina and from Iceland and Norway to Senegal, including the parts of the Mediterranean in the eastern Atlantic. It is found off Japan, China and the Koreas as well as western and southern Australia and the coastlines of New Zealand in the western Pacific and from the Gulf of Alaska to the Gulf of California and from Ecuador to Chile in the eastern Pacific. Habitat
Mainly a surface dwelling animal. It got one of its other common names, (sun fish) because it is always at the surface.
It weighs 1,800 pounds and
contains 600 gallons of oil! Test Question
How many gallons of oil can a basking shark contain?