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basking shark photo by Chris Gotschalk

GENTLE GIANTS

Not all sharks are fierce carnivores.  Some are quite harmless.  Oddly enough, the most harmless sharks tend to be the largest!  The basking shark (pictured in the photo), the whale shark and the megamouth sharks all fit this description.

These huge sharks eat plankton, a tiny shrimp-like creature found in the ocean.  To do this, they swim forward with their mouths wide open.  "Gill rakers" at the back of their throat strain the tiny food from the water.

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