Although they frequently swim with their massive mouths wide open to feed, basking sharks don’t look like the Jaws-type predator most people think of when they imagine a shark. The biggest of these 4-ton fish are just a few feet shorter than a typical school bus. Their gaping mouths reveal their gills and filter-feeding structures, which together resemble the inside of a rib cage. Basking sharks are the second largest shark in the world and just like their bigger cousins, whale sharks, they are filter feeders. Their hundreds of tiny teeth are too small to do much damage.
In Print: May 1, 2017