Basking Shark Size Explained & Compared With Others

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Basking Shark Length

Basking Shark Size

The first thing that would come to our mind while distinguishing the Basking shark from others would be their appearance, their long, slender bodies, and broad, and triangular fins. 

Additionally, their ability to filter-feed on plankton is well known. Other than their visual appearance, their size could also be a very important hint, especially because Basking sharks are the second-largest fish in the world, after the whale shark.

In terms of their length, they can grow to be up to 45 feet (15.2 m) long but usually have an average length of 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m). 

Additionally, if we look at the height of the Basking sharks, their average height is not as important as their length, as they are typically found swimming just below the surface of the water. However, in terms of their length, they are quite large. 

Basking shark Length
Average size22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m)
Maximum size45 feet (15.2 m)

Basking Shark Weight

Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world and they are known for their large size and slow, graceful swimming style. 

Additionally, they are also well known for their overall weight. Despite their size, basking sharks are generally not aggressive toward humans and are not considered to be a threat. In fact, they are often described as gentle giants.

If we look at their size in terms of their weight, their average weight is about 3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons/8600 lbs), and have a maximum weight of around 10,000 pounds (4.5 metric tons). This is usually affected by several factors such as their diet, lifestyle, habitat, and much more. 

Basking Shark Weight 
Average size3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons/8600 lbs)
Maximum size10,000 pounds (4.5 metric tons)

Basking Shark Teeth Size

Now that we are talking about sharks, one of their characteristic features is their teeth. Basking sharks have small, blunt teeth that are not suitable for hunting or tearing prey. Instead, they are filter feeders, and they use their large gills to filter small organisms, such as plankton and krill, out of the water as they swim. 

Additionally, Basking sharks do not have the sharp, pointed teeth that are characteristic of predatory fish.

The size of a basking shark’s teeth can vary, but they are typically small and may be one-quarter of an inch long in length. 

Basking sharks have five pairs of gill slits on the sides of their head, which they use to filter small organisms out of the water as they swim. Overall, these sharks are thought to have more than 1,500 teeth in their mouth. 1

Basking Shark Mouth/Jaw Size

With so many teeth in their mouth, and so much to eat, it is quite obvious that the mouth of these sharks would be very large. That is, Basking sharks have large mouths and jaws that are adapted for filter feeding. 

Their mouths are located on the underside of their head and are surrounded by five pairs of gill slits, which they use to filter small organisms out of the water as they swim. 

Like the size of their teeth, the size of a basking shark’s mouth and jaws can also vary, but they are generally large in proportion to their body size. 

In fact, Basking Sharks’ jaws can expand up to about 3 feet (0.9 meters) wide! In relation to their overall size, you can see how large and giant their mouth could be. 

Baby Basking shark size 

Till now we have been looking at the size of adult Basking sharks, so what do you think would be the difference between a baby basking shark? 

Baby basking sharks are born at a relatively small size, and they can grow quickly as they mature. 

It is difficult to provide a specific size range for baby basking sharks, as they can vary in size depending on their age and environment.

However, on average, a newborn baby Basking shark is around 1.5-2 m long, which is quite bigger than other full-sized animals. For instance, that’s bigger than a grown-up seal!

Basking Shark Size Compared To Human

Basking Shark Size compared to human

Compared to a seal, even a newborn Basking shark is quite large, so can you imagine how large an adult Basking shark would be compared to an average adult human species? 

When compared to a human, basking sharks are significantly larger in size. The average human is about 5.5 to 6 feet tall, while a basking shark can be up to 8 times longer. 

In terms of weight, basking sharks can weigh up to 3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons), while the average human weighs around 132 to 176 pounds (60 to 80 kgs). 

Despite their size, basking sharks are generally not aggressive toward humans and are not considered to be a threat. In fact, they are often described as gentle giants.

Animal type LengthWeight 
Basking shark 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m)3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons/8500 lbs)
Average adult human 5.5 to 6 feet132 to 176 pounds (60 to 80 kgs)

Basking Shark Size Compared To Great White Shark

Basking Shark Size compared to great white shark

By now you would surely have got a glimpse of the insane and massive size of the Basking shark, but what do you think about how large it is other large sharks such as the whale shark? 

The great white shark is much larger and has a length of 15-20 feet (4.5-6 meters) and weighs about 680 and 1,800 kg (1,500 and 4,000 pounds).

However, some individual whale sharks have been known to grow even larger, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to 18 meters (59 feet). 

In comparison, the Basking sharks are the second-largest fish in the world, after the whale shark. They can grow to be up to 45 feet (15.2 m) long and can weigh up to 7 tons. 

However, the average size of a basking shark is much smaller, with most individuals growing to be around 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m) for average adults and 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 m) for the young ones. 

Animal type LengthWeight 
Basking shark 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m)3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons)
Great white shark 15-20 feet (4.5-6 meters) 680 and 1,800 kg (1,500 and 4,000 pounds)

Also Check Out Our Guide On Other Shark Sizes

Basking Shark Size Compared To Megalodon Size

Basking Shark Size compared to megalodon

After examining our position on the whale shark size comparison chart, let’s examine how this species of shark compares to other species and types of sharks in terms of size. Starting with the extinct species of shark known as the Megalodon, which lived millions of years ago during the Cenozoic Era.

Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world, and they can reach lengths of up to 45 feet (15.2 m) as adults. Megalodon, on the other hand, was a species of shark that lived millions of years ago and is now extinct. Megalodon is believed to have been much larger than basking sharks. 

It was one of the largest predatory sharks to ever live and it is estimated that it could have reached lengths of up to 44 to 56 feet (13-17 m) and a weight of about 50 tons.

Compared to the Megalodon, the Basking shark is about 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m) in terms of length and 3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons) in weight. 

Animal type LengthWeight 
Basking shark 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m)3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons)
Megalodon sharks44 to 56 feet (13-17 m)50 tons

Basking Shark Vs Whale Shark Size Comparison

As said earlier, the Basking shark is the second largest shark, but the largest of all is the whale shark. 

Basking sharks and whale sharks are both large, filter-feeding sharks that are found in temperate and subtropical waters around the world. However, there are some significant differences in their size and appearance.

To be more specific, Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world, and they can reach lengths of up to 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m) and weigh 3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons) as adults. 

Whale sharks, on the other hand, are the largest fish in the world, and they can reach lengths of up to 12 meters (40 feet) and weigh 21 metric tons (23 short tons) as adults. 

Animal type LengthWeight 
Basking shark 22-29 feet (6.7-8.8 m)3.9 metric tons (4.3 tons)
Whale shark 12 meters (40 feet)19-21 metric tons (20-23 short tons/41-46k lbs)

Conclusion

And that was everything you need to know about the size of Basking shark. I hope this article was informative enough and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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