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Species: Megachasma pelagios, Megamouth shark

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head very long
snout very short, wide & flat
C long top lobe, bottom lobe short & strong
mouth very large & long, opens at front
teeth very small, many rows

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Megachasma pelagios  Taylor, Compagno & Struhsaker, 1983

Megamouth shark

Body cylindrical, somewhat compressed, robust, tapering to rear; head bulbous, wide & very long; snout very short, flattened, broad, rounded; eyes moderately large; mouth very large, opens at front of head, extends behind eyes; gill openings 5, moderately long, last 2 over pectoral base; gill rakers = finger-like papillae; teeth very small, narrow and hooked, smooth edges, > 85-100 rows on each jaw; 2 relatively low , angular dorsal fins; 1st dorsal fin origin nearer pectoral bases than pelvics; 2nd dorsal < 1/2 size of 1st dorsal, midway between pelvics and anal fins; pectorals large, long and narrow; pelvics moderate sized; anal fin smaller than 2nd dorsal; tail fin with long upper lobe, lower lobe short, strong; tail base compressed, without keels.

Blue black to dark brown above, belly paler; a white stripe along top edge of mouth; lining of mouth silver; pectoral and pelvic tips white.

Reaches at least 550 cm

A pelagic filter feeder.

Depth range: 5-600m, usually 120-165 m.

Rare, known from scattered localities in all three oceans; Puerto Rico to Brazil


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Salinity
  • Hypersaline
  • Marine Only
Inshore/Offshore
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Water column only
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
Habitat
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
Diet
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Live birth
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s) only
  • Island (s)
Residency
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 550
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 600