Basking Shark

<div class="description mw-content-ltr de" lang="de" dir="ltr"><span class="language de"><strong>Deutsch:</strong></span> <a href="http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riesenhai" title="de:Riesenhai">Riesenhai</a> (<em>Cetorhinus maximus</em>).</div> <div class="description mw-content-ltr en" lang="en" dir="ltr"><span class="language en"><strong>English:</strong></span> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basking_shark" title="en:Basking shark">Basking shark</a> (<em>Cetorhinus maximus</em>).</div> <div class="description mw-content-ltr fr" lang="fr" dir="ltr"><span class="language fr"><strong>Français :</strong></span> <a href="http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requin_p%C3%A8lerin" title="fr:Requin pèlerin">Requin pèlerin</a> (<em>Cetorhinus maximus</em>).</div> <div class="description mw-content-ltr pt" lang="pt" dir="ltr"><span class="language pt"><strong>Português:</strong></span> <a href="http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tubar%C3%A3o-elefante" title="pt:Tubarão-elefante">Tubarão-elefante</a> (<em>Cetorhinus maximus</em>).</div> <p><span>By: Greg Skomal / NOAA Fisheries Service</span></p> <p>Wikipedia:</p> <p>The <strong>basking shark</strong> (<em>Cetorhinus maximus</em>) is the second largest living <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish" title="Fish">fish</a>, after the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_shark" title="Whale shark">whale shark</a>, and one of three plankton-eating sharks besides the whale shark and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megamouth_shark" title="Megamouth shark">megamouth shark</a>. It is a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmopolitan_distribution" title="Cosmopolitan distribution">cosmopolitan</a> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_migration" title="Fish migration">migratory</a> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species" title="Species">species</a>, found in all the world's temperate oceans. It is a slow moving <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_feeder" title="Filter feeder">filter feeder</a> and has anatomical adaptations to filter feeding, such as a greatly enlarged mouth and highly developed <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gill_rakers" title="Gill rakers">gill rakers</a>. The shape of its snout is conical and the gill slits extend around the top and bottom of its head. The gill rakers are dark and bristle-like and are used to catch plankton as water filters through the mouth and over the gills. The basking shark is usually greyish-brown in color with mottled skin. The caudal (tail) fin has a strong lateral keel and a crescent shape. The teeth of the basking shark are very small and numerous and often number one hundred per row. The teeth themselves have a single conical cusp, are curved backwards and are the same on both the upper and lower jaws.</p> <p>Basking sharks are a migrating species and are believed to overwinter in deep waters. They may occur in either small schools or alone. Small schools in the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_of_Fundy" title="Bay of Fundy">Bay of Fundy</a> and the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrides" title="Hebrides">Hebrides</a> have been seen swimming nose to tail in circles in what may be a form of mating behavior. Despite their large size and threatening appearance, basking sharks are not aggressive and are harmless to people.</p> <p>It has long been a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_fishing" title="Commercial fishing">commercially important</a> fish, as a source of food, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_finning" title="Shark finning">shark fin</a>, animal feed, and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_liver_oil" title="Shark liver oil">shark liver oil</a>. Overexploitation has reduced its populations to the point where some have disappeared and others need protection.</p>

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