Cetorhinus maximus

Cetorhinus maximus

Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus). 6 m. long. 

Supervised by Henrik Flintegård.

The perhaps most impressive mouth of the in animal kingdom belongs to the basking shark, the second largest fish in the ocean, only surpassed by the whale shark.

The basking shark typically reach 6-8 m, and are found in all the world's temperate oceans, where it’s around 8 to 14.5 °C. It’s a slow-moving filter feeder, and its common name derives from its habit of feeding at the surface, appearing to be basking in the warmer water there. The gill rakers, dark and bristle-like, are used to catch plankton as water filters through the mouth and over the gills. The teeth are very small and numerous, and often number 100 per row.

The basking shark has long been a commercially important fish, as a source of food, shark fin, animal feed, and shark liver oil. Overexploitation has reduced its populations, leading it to being UICN redlisted as vulnerable to extinction.