Megachasma pelagios

  • Megachasma pelagios
    The only extant species of the family Gigantophthoridae, the third largest filter-feeding shark in existence, and probably the third largest shark in existence (controversial, ranking ninth among sharks according to existing records, but not excluding larger individuals yet to be found). The conservative record of 5.49m/1215Kg was first discovered in the Hawaiian Islands in 1996, and 124 sharks had been found up to December 2008. Records show that the distribution may include the global subtropical and tropical waters, with vertical migration behavior. During the day, it usually moves in the deep water area of 120-160 m, but at night it floats to shallow water of 12-25 m to forage, and at the deepest depth it can dive to deep water of about 1000 m, mainly feeding on plankton. The jaw has luminescent organs to attract plankton. Its huge mouth and gill can be seen. It filters food in water with high efficiency, gentle temperament, slow movement, and speed is only 1.7-2.1 km/h. It has been attacked by large predators such as sperm whales.
    IUCN assesses its population as LC. Although we know little about giant mouth sharks at present, according to capture records, its distribution may be wider than we know. With the development of deep-sea fisheries, more and more giant mouth sharks have become victims of bottom trawling, and their populations may be affected by overfishing.

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