basking shark

bask·ing shark

noun \ˈbas-kiŋ-\

Definition of BASKING SHARK

:  a large plankton-feeding shark (Cetorhinus maximus) that has an oil-rich liver and may attain a length of up to 45 feet (13.7 meters)

First Known Use of BASKING SHARK

circa 1769

basking shark

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Huge, sluggish shark (family Cetorhinidae) named for its habit of floating or slowly swimming at the surface. Possibly comprising more than one distinct species, it inhabits northern and temperate regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. It may grow as large as 46 ft (14 m); among fishes, only the whale shark grows larger. Despite its size, the basking shark feeds on plankton. It is gray-brown or blackish, with tiny teeth and very long gill slits. It is generally harmless and is hunted sporadically for fish meal and liver oil.


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