IUCN Red List Status: vulnerable
Maximum length may be up to 36 feet, making them the second largest shark!
Have very large gills slits which almost completely encircle the head
Thought to live up to 50 years
Highly migratory and found in northern and southern hemispheres in warm temperate waters, often close to land, or associated with continental shelves
Recently it was shown that migrations can be transequatorial, with some sharks tagged off of Cape Cod moving into Southern Hemisphere waters near South America!
One of three filter-feeding, plankton-eating sharks
Often deep in the winter, and in surface waters in the summer, feeding on plankton
This surface behavior is what gives the name “basking”, as in basking in the sun!
Vulnerable due to capture as bycatch
In the same classification order group as the white shark and mako species