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Basking Sharks Essay

1519 words - 7 pages

Basking Shark
In the midst of all the masters of the sea, comes an enormous atrocious sea creature. It is known for being the second largest species of sharks in the world and also a fascinating monstrosity. Cetorhinus Maximus, also known as Basking sharks are fierce yet bizarre lethargic sharks. They are known for their gigantic mouths and unique appearance, which sets them apart, and additionally are quite impressive. According to “The Shark side of Life” it states that, “These sharks can grow to lengths of over 35 feet (10 meters), thus making them the second largest fish in the ocean ("The Shark side of the World ").” Due to their colossal appearance, this particular shark has few ...view middle of the document...

From all the diverse species, Basking Sharks one out of the three filter feeding species. Though it is conventional to see a shark roaming the oceans for their prey, basking sharks are quite different. They are known to wander around the oceans surface with its mouth unsealed, scaling the water with his ginormous mouth open and catching anything that comes its way. According to Shark Trust it states, “Prey items consist primarily of zooplankton – including small copepods (typically Calanus helgolandicus), barnacles, decapod larvae, fish eggs and a deep-water oceanic shrimp ("Shark Trust ").”
They are frequently spotted with their mouths accessible and their gills surging only to close their mouth to feast on their prey or if plankton was stuck on its teeth. According to Shark Trust, the gill rakers of the basking shark are responsible for a number of duties it states that, “capture of plankton by mucus secreted in the pharynx and can strain up to 2000 tons of water per hour resulting in Basking Sharks having, on average, around half a ton of food material present in their stomach ("Shark Trust ").” This is another example what this monumental sea creature has to offer under these circumstances.
It is common to find these sharks wandering the surface of coastal oceans. During the winter these specific sharks are rarely seen. However according to shark trust, it states that, “The majority of records from the United Kingdom, Japan and Newfoundland are from water 8–14°C in temperature, although most records from New England are in water from 11–24°C with most of these over 16°C. It seems to prefer ocean fronts where different masses of water meet and where plankton may flourish ("Shark Trust ").” This shows that the one thing that these areas have in common are a strong tidal flow. However as mentioned before the Basking sharks are rarely seen in the winter, it was thought that they simply hibernate during the winter but with further information acquired and using satellite equipment, it was shown that Basking sharks roam around deep waters. Addition to their migratory ways it was also apparent that they fled deep waters in search of plankton in order to nurture themselves. Another process during the winter was the loss and the recovering growth of its gill rakers, an inevitable process during the winter. However these species of sharks have been known to migrate everywhere and they prefer to live in locations where the temperature is warmer and in fact is the largest shark to ever be encounter in the British waters in the UK.
Despite having immeasurable gill slits, a massive body and crescent yet well proportioned tail it is apparent that these same qualities are similar to the Great White and other specific sharks. According to Shark Trust it states that, “Basking Sharks are members of the order mackerel sharks (Lamniformes). Although not the most species group, mackerel sharks are certainly one of the most diverse groups and also...

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