Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Cetorhinus maximus, Basking shark

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

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.


High Resolution Map Download

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