basking shark


bask·​ing shark ˈba-skiŋ- How to pronounce basking shark (audio)
: 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)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web That includes some species of whales, dolphins, manatees, tuna, basking sharks and turtles. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 6 Mar. 2023 That shark was also a basking shark., 2 June 2021 Help monitor basking shark and ocean sunfish in New England waters by sending in your photos from the seas! Darlene Cavalier, Discover Magazine, 21 July 2017 The largest fish, both living (the whale shark and basking shark) and extinct (Leedsichthys), are all filter-feeders. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 9 Dec. 2010 Shark pregnancies can last longer than 3 years On average, sharks give birth after 11 or 12 months of pregnancy, but some sharks, such as the frilled shark and basking shark can be pregnant for over three years. Rachel Fadem, CNN, 26 July 2022 Sharks were first included in Appendix II of CITES in 2003, after decision makers decided to include the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) and whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in Appendix II. Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 Oregon's Department of Fish & Wildlife lists the salmon shark, spiny dogfish, soupfin shark, common thresher shark, basking shark, blue shark as native to its coastal waters, among others. Julia Musto, Fox News, 26 Aug. 2021 The eagle shark might have had tiny, pointed teeth like the basking shark and the megamouth—two modern filter-feeding sharks—or taken a different strategy. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'basking shark.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of basking shark was circa 1769

Dictionary Entries Near basking shark

Cite this Entry

“Basking shark.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

basking shark

: a large shark that feeds on plankton and may reach 45 feet (13.7 meters) in length

More from Merriam-Webster on basking shark

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