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The Coolest Sharks of All Time

Basking Shark

Let's take a break from the nightmare sharks for a second, and get back to the big, friendly giants. Second only in size to the whale shark, the basking shark is a filter-feeder that nourishes its enormous frame entirely with plankton (the only other extant shark in this group is the elusive megamouth). They have a similar body plan to great whites, but their mouth, with its enormous gill rakers, is utterly different. I mean, you can pretty much see the basking shark's strategy just by looking at it. It's basically in a permanent state of saying "ahhh" and passively devours whatever happens to float into its jaws. It's safe to swim with basking sharks, though we'd still recommend avoiding the gaping hole in its face. You never know.

Tags: animals, science, slideshows, sharks, shark week

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Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

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