Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gentle Giants: The Basking Shark

Today was another record breaker. Total of 2 and a half hours at work today! I know, I work a lot. It's just something I've got to live with. And...get ready...I'm moving tomorrow! Yes, I'm moving into my new apartment! Actually my first apartment. I can't wait to have "my own place." Since I'm renting it's not really my own, hence the quotations. 
Anyways, let's get to the meat of the blog. Has anyone ever heard of a basking shark? Maybe a couple? Hmm. Well, if you haven't ever heard of them, they look extremely daunting but they're in reality extremely docile. The adults are huge, ranging from 20 to 30 feet in length. Like a whale. But a shark. But not a whale shark. Those are completely different! 
Fact: the basking shark is hunted for its liver oil, meat, cartilage, and of course its fins. The fins should be a no brainer because of the foul shark finning industry. If you take anything away from this blog (factually), you should take away the fact that every shark is being targeted in the ocean because of the finning industry! Shark fins are sold as souvenirs and such, but most of the fins go to Asia for shark fin soup. It doesn't sound very appetizing to me, personally. Just my thoughts. Or tastebuds. Whatever.
Other than the awful reasons why this creature is hunted, there's so much to learn about the basking shark! It is 1 of the 3 filter feeding shark species (the other 2 are the whale shark and the extremely rare deepwater megamouth shark). It basks its mouth open while swimming to get food! (See what I did there...) 

Apparently they've been spotted breaching. Yes, breaching. Like a whale. Or a shark. But not a...okay, you know where I'm getting at. They'll launch themselves completely out of the water. For what reason scientists haven't a clue. But some hunches have been explained. They may be doing this for mating. Like to show off to all the girls or something. Another hypothesis is that they might be trying to get rid of a parasite on their skin. (Scientists have kind of icksnayed that one since it's so much effort for little joy at the end of it all.) 
I actually found a website to adopt a basking shark. I'm just as surprised as you are, believe me. Adopt?! That's amazing! Super amazing! I want to adopt one! Too bad I'm a poor college student. But if I could, I would so adopt one. It's not like you literally adopt one and bring it home or something. That wouldn't be as amazing. You know how you can adopt a tiger or other wild jungle animal through WWF (World Wildlife Fund)? Just like that. 
I have to say, the basking shark isn't as "adorable" as a baby tiger advertised on your television screen, but how cool is it to say that you adopted a shark? Maybe it's just me pushing the subject. Hey, I could be a salesman for this kind of stuff. You already want to be a new adoptive parent now, don't you? You know you want to! The website that has all the information about adopting and just anything in general about these sharks is here:
You won't regret that you visited! It's full of awesome facts that you can say in random conversations. Then you can impress all your friends!


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