All About The Megamouth Shark: The Elusively Unknown


Richard Ellis via Archive.org

There's still a shark lurking in the ocean that has remained largely unknown to humans?

This shark is called the megamouth shark, and it was only discovered in 1976.

Since then, very little is known about this elusive creature. In this GB blog, we will discuss everything we know (which isn't too much compared to other sharks!) about this mystery of the depths!

Description and Appearance

Photo via Zola Chen

 

Megamouths are a member of the filter-feeding shark family, which also includes the whale shark and basking shark.

They're are one of the largest filter-feeding sharks in the world, and can grow up to 18 feet long.

They have a cylindrical body with a large head, small eyes, and a wide mouth lined with over 50 rows of tiny teeth. Their skin is dark gray or black, and they have long tails.

Diet

Megamouth sharks are filter feeders, which means they strain plankton and small fish from the water for food. Megamouth sharks are mainly plankton eaters, but they have also been known to eat small fish and squid.

They use their wide mouth to suck in water and plankton, which they then filter through their gills.

If you want to see their mouths up close, I’m afraid that’ll be a hard feat to achieve. However, the closest you can get to one is through Gage Beasley’s Megamouth Shark Soft Stuffed Plush Toy. All the aforementioned details are here—including its big, mega mouth. Try not to get sucked in, will you?

Gage Beasley’s Megamouth Shark Soft Stuffed Plush Toy

Reproduction

Megamouth sharks are thought to be ovoviviparous, meaning that they give birth to live young.

Little is known about their reproductive cycle, but it is thought that they have a long gestation period of over a year.

Distribution & Habitat

Megamouths are found in all the world's oceans, but they prefer deep waters (over 1000 feet).

They are rarely seen, and little is known about their movements or habits.

What we do know is that they are often found near the surface at night, and they tend to stay close to areas with a lot of plankton.

This makes them difficult to study, as they are hard to find and track.

Conservation

Megamouth sharks are not currently considered a threatened species, but they are listed as "Data Deficient" by the IUCN.

Other Interesting Facts

  • Megamouth sharks have the smallest teeth of any shark species
  • They are one of the slowest swimming sharks, and can only swim about two miles per hour
  • They are thought to live for over 20 years
  • Megamouth sharks were only discovered in 1976 when one was accidentally caught by a fishing trawler
  • They are one of the largest filter-feeding sharks in the world and can grow up to 18 feet long.

Final Thoughts

That's all the information we have on megamouth sharks for now!

As you can see, there is still a lot unknown about these creatures.

But that just makes them even more fascinating, don't you think?

Do you have any questions about megamouth sharks that we didn't cover in this blog?

Let us know in the comments below!

We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about these elusive creatures of the deep.

 

Cheers

~GB


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