The Basking Shark is believed to be one of the world’s largest fish, after the Whale Shark. It can reach a length of around ten metres, but usually it is about seven metres long and weighs around seven tonnes. This shark often swims near to the surface of the water which gives it the impression that it likes basking in the sun. This is why this shark has its name the ‘Basking Shark. It is also known as the Sunfish.
The top part of the Basking Shark is black and the under part is mottled shades of grey and brown. Its body is covered in black slimy mucus. The Basking Shark is a slow and gentle swimmer. It has fin on its back that flops from side to side. This fin is called the ‘dorsal fin’ and is over one metre long.
Basking Sharks have small black eyes and very small teeth. They don’t use their teeth to eat because they are filter feeders. Basking Sharks eat vast quantities of microscopic zooplankton which is filtered from the water as they swim forward. They swim forward with their huge mouths gaped wide open to catch zooplankton. Basking Sharks can be seen around the west coast of England.