HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE BASKING SHARK?

Quiz

What's the record length for a basking shark?

Answer: 40 feet

A basking shark measuring 40.3 feet was accidentally caught in a herring net in 1851 in Canada's Bay of Fundy. To this day, the 21-ton beast is the largest basking shark ever accurately measured.

Which is a closer relative of the basking shark?

Answer: Great white shark

Although both whale sharks and basking sharks are enormous plankton eaters, DNA evidence and physical similarities have proven that basking sharks are more closely related to great whites.

Which of these is a good way to tell a basking shark from a great white?

Answer: Compare their teeth

While basking sharks and great white sharks have similar body shapes and structures, including their tails, the basking shark's teeth are small and relatively useless as adults. These sharks use their gill rakers instead to filter plankton.

Where do basking sharks go in the winter?

Answer: They travel south to deeper waters

It was long thought that basking sharks hibernated on the ocean floor during winter, but recent tagging studies have shown that they follow the seasonal migration of plankton to deep offshore waters and further south.

How do basking sharks stay afloat?

Answer: Their liver is filled with oil

Unlike most types of fish, which have gas-filled swim bladders, a shark's buoyancy is aided by its large oily liver. In basking sharks, this liver is especially large to keep up with their slow pace and huge size.