Friday, October 7, 2011

Life of Basking Shark

Life of Sea | Basking Shark  (Cetorhinus maximus) | Basking shark is a coastal-pelagic shark found worldwide in boreal to warm temperate waters around the continental shelf. This shark is called Basking shark because it is most commonly observed when feeding on the surface and seems to bask in the warmer waters there. During the summer, they feed on plankton near the surface in more coastal waters. They are found in temperate waters of both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. They are usually seen by people at or near the surface and are observed along almost every coastline bordering the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Along the west coast of North America, they are perceived from British Columbia to Baja California, mostly in the winter and spring months.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Chondrichthyes
Subclass:     Elasmobranchii
Order:     Lamniformes
Family:     Cetorhinidae
Gill, 1862
Genus:     Cetorhinus
Blainville, 1816
Species:     C. maximus

Basking sharks have enormous size, conical snout, sub-terminal mouthes, very large gill slits, dark hair-like gills Rakers inside the gills (present most of the year), strong keels and large lunate tail (curved) tails. Basking sharks have a large number of small teeth. Their bodies are mottled gray / brown to slate-gray or black, sometimes with lighter patches on the back. The ventral side is paler, often with white spots under the nose and the mouth or along the belly. Two albino Basking shark of the North Atlantic Ocean are included. It is the second largest fish, surpassed only by the whale shark. Their average size is 6.7-8.8 m. The largest measured Basking shark was 9.75 m, 9.14 m long and one individual was recorded that weighed 3.900 kg. There are also unconfirmed reports of basking sharks to 13.7 m long.

Basking shark can open the mouth cavity to 1.2 m wide. This will allow water to pass over the gill Rakers, where small fish and invertebrates from the water tribe. They are often seen feeding near the surface. Basking sharks give birth to live young, youth recorded the smallest measured about 165 cm in length. Female Basking shark are assumed to reach sexual maturity at 4 to 4.9 m long reaching. Basking sharks were observed breeding in the North Atlantic Ocean in May The location of the nursing grounds is unknown. While Basking sharks have few or no predators, white sharks and killer whales have been reported as their predators.

Basking sharks are social animals and are sex-segregated schools, usually in small numbers, 3 or 4. Basking shark has long been a need for commercially important fish, especially in Japan, as a source of food, shark, feed, and shark liver oil. Basking shark is widely hunted for its huge liver, which is full of squalene (shark oil) and is used as a lubricant, in cosmetics and supplements. They are also hunted for its large fin, which is used in shark fin soup. Basking shark is hunted for its meat, which can be eaten fresh, dried or salted. This over-exploitation has reduced the population of Basking shark.

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