Largest sharks in the world – Megamouth shark

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 in Size

Share

 

Megamouth Shark

Named for its enormous mouth, the megamouth shark is one of the largest shark species in the ocean, although it resembles a whale more than it does a shark.

 

How big can it get?

The largest specimen documented reached 5.6 metres (18-feet) in length, and weighed just over one ton. However, only 54 specimens have ever been found and there is a chance that this deep sea dweller may be much larger in the ocean depths.

 

What does it eat?

This rubber-lipped oddity enjoys plankton, jellyfish and small shrimps. In fact, its migration pattern follows that of red shrimps, ensuring that the big beast never has far to go to find a meal.

 

How does it hunt?

Similar to whale sharks and basking sharks, megamouth is a filter feeder, taking in huge amounts of water before using gill rakes to separate the best bits.

 

How dangerous is it?

Although little is known about this huge fish, divers have swum beside it without any trouble indicating it to be a gentle giant rather than a brutal behemoth.

 

How many are left?

Nobody knows. Only a few megamouth sharks have ever been seen so there is no way of knowing how many are alive in the wild.

 

Anything else?

As well as being huge, megamouth is also one of the most recently discovered shark species, having only been discovered in 1976. It may also be one of the rarest, which would explain how the phantom fish was able to remain undetected for thousands of years.

 

Holy guacamole! I really want to...