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Something Big

sharkman6224 at my-deja.com sharkman6224 at my-deja.com
Mon Jan 17 04:39:17 EST 2000



>>Frank Reilly [mailto:freilly at mail.vt.edu] wrote:
>>There is an english name for a large shark known as "The Basking
>>Shark" and there is a "Whale Shark"  these are both very large sharks.
>>One or the other of them are the largest animals other than Blue
>>whales.

Indeed, the Whale Shark (_Rhiniodon typus_) is the largest fish species
in the world - it comes in behind the largest mammal, the Blue Whale
(_Balaenoptera_).   The second largest shark, and indeed fish, is the
Basking Shark (_Cetorhinus maximus_).

>>However, I don't think either of them are from very deep in the water
>>column.

Both sharks are known to descend to quite substanital depths, the Whale
Shark usually swims along the bottom taking advantage of the demersal
currents for a 'Free ride'.   There is also some evidence that the
Basking Shark hibernates in the depths over winter whilst it grows new
gill rakers!   There is of course another member of the shark family
that is large and descends to considerable depths - the Megamouth Shark
(_Megachasm pelagios_).

>>Furthermore I beleive that both are plankton feeders, that wouldn't
>>have responded to the "bait" you describe.

They are principally plankton feeders (specifically targeting _Calanus_
copepods) but they have been known to take small fish.   It is almost
100% certain however that they wouldn't be attracted by the bait!   The
sharks Rok describes are almost cetainly _Somniosus pacificus_ (the
Pacific Sleeper Shark) - see my previous posting for some background on
this species!

                      Cheers,
                              -- M.B.


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