#Biodiversity150 number 93 of 150 Basking Shark

93/150: What a big mouth!

Animalia: Chordata: Elasmobranchii: Lamniformes: Cetorhinidae: Cetorhinus: Cetorhinus maximus  (Gunnerus, 1765)

Basking sharks are known as the second biggest fish in the ocean reaching lengths of up to 10 metres and weighing almost 6 tonnes! But unlike its menacing cousins the basking shark is a gentle creature that feeds on small organisms such as plankton through filter-feeding. By using a thousand bristle-like structures on their gills and a mouth that can reach 1 metre in diameter they create a passive net and filtering system. These adaptive structures allow them to filter a whopping 1,500,000 litres of water per hour! Sadly Cetorhinus maximus are a vulnerable species that have been exploited for their skin, liver oil and flesh by leather, light and food industries in various countries such as Spain, Ireland and Canada. They only give birth every 2-4 years to live young with babies reaching 1.8 metres long! Thus they are making slow progress to reach normal population levels. Hopefully with increased protective efforts they’ll make a comeback! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Basking shark model from National Museum Cardiff. Photo Credit: National Museum Cardiff goo.gl/TxxZ2Y
Basking shark feeding in the ocean. Photo Credit: Greg Skomal goo.gl/LrvX8E

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: EBASK053-07

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Basking Shark

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAA6526