Project Description

Basking Shark

Scientific name: Cetorhinus maximus
Average 6-8m long, but rarely 10m or more
Colour: Dark grey or black on the back, with a paler underside
Found mainly in temperate, open waters, occasionally found in tropical area


  • Basking Sharks tend to live in open waters, but during the summer months, they like to move towards coastal waters to “Bask” in the heat.
  • They are the second largest fish in the world, the first being the whale shark.
  • They have 5 greatly enlarged gill slits, which contain “Gill Rakers” or filters to filter out an increased amount of plankton.
  • They can filter 1.5 million litres of water per hour!


Photo credit: Paul Naylor