Cetorhinus maximus (Basking shark)
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Cetorhinus maximus (Basking shark) [Illustration
by Ann Hecht ©]
A giant spindle-shaped blue-grey or brownish shark with a pointed
snout, huge gill slits, and a tuna-like caudal fin with strong
caudal keels. Underside with irregular white patches.
10 to 15 m TL, the 2nd largest fish.
West coast from Robbin
Island to Cape Agulhas; most temperate seas.
pelagic in cool-temperate waters, on shelf and sometimes close
inshore, usually near the surface.
This shark feeds on tiny
crustaceans, and filters tonnes of water through its mouth and gills
to catch them on its mucous-covered gill-raker denticles.