Basking shark This shark's scientific name, Cetorhinus maximus (Gunnerus, 1765), and its junior *synonyms (Squalus elephas, S. rhinoceros) emphasize its large size, which can reach 9 m, and provide enough space to support lots of *barnacles.
An interesting feature of the basking shark is its possession of a set of well-developed gill rakers (Steenstrup 1873), whose bony substance resembles the baleen of *whales, and hence its other name of'Bone-shark.' CD felt that Steen-strup's explanation of the nature of these gill rakers as modified teeth was a most wonderful case (*Calendar, no. 10594).
Wonderful as they might be, these gill rakers are shed in winter, and this must be considered when studying the feeding and growth (Pauly 1978,2002b), and other aspects of the biology ofbasking sharks.
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