Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Cetorhinus maximus, Basking shark

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C ~symmetric, base with keel
enormous mouth
5 extremely long gill slits

Cetorhinus maximus (Gunnerus, 1765)

Basking shark

A stout body, pointed snout and enormous mouth; many very small, blunt teeth with a single point; 5 very long gill slits that almost meet at the top and bottom of the head, all before the pectoral fins; gill rakers long and hair like; two dorsal fins, the first much larger and situated midway between the pectorals and pelvics; 2nd dorsal and anal fins small; tail fin nearly symmetrical, concave; tail base very depressed, with a large keel on each side.

Back blackish to grey-brown or blue-grey; belly a little paler.

Size: 1000 cm.

Habitat: near shore pelagic.

Depth: 0-1264 m.

Circumglobal, temperate; in the four corners of the Atlantic, occasionally off  Florida & the Gulf of Mexico, south to the Caribbean and Brazil.

  


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Salinity
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
Inshore/Offshore
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
Habitat
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
Diet
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
Regional Endemism
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
Residency
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
CITES
  • Listed
  • Appendix II
Length Max
  • 1000
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1264