Megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios)

IUCN Red List Status: Data Deficient

This shark is considered perhaps the most exciting discovery of a new shark species in the twentieth century

First discovered in 1976!

Since discovery, only ~100 individuals have been seen

Specimens of the species are rarely encountered

Can grow as large as ~24 feet (7.2meters)

 Habitat range thought to be circumtropical, but this shark is rare throughout its range

Has been found in locations such as Brazil, Senegal, Taiwan, Western Australia, Japan, Hawaii, and USA (California)

Has been found in waters as shallow as 16 feet (5m), but has been found in epipelagic and deep waters as well

Known prey items are euphausiid shrimp (krill), copepods, and jellyfish

One tagged and tracked individual revealed that this species is not dependent on forward motion to breath, and can gill-pump for respiration

Mode of reproduction still unknown but is probably aplacental viviparity with oophagy (uterine cannibalism)

The megamouth is caught rarely as incidental bycatch in various pelagic and coastal fisheries

This species has only recently been satellite tagged in Taiwan, to learn more about its ecology