Megamouth shark

Tom Haight/Seapics.com

 

Weird Ones | The Megamouth shark

One of the great things about sharks is their names – they are wonderfully self-explanatory


Look

Bulbous head with huge mouth and small teeth 

Size 

Maximum length of 5m 

Distribution 

Worldwide, most specimens found off Japan 

Need to know

One of the great things about sharks is their names – they are wonderfully self-explanatory. It’s easy to imagine the person who named the blue shark saying: ‘It was a shark, and it was blue. I know, we’ll call it a blue shark.’ It’s also easy to imagine that the language was equally blue, although for quite different reasons, when men from a US Navy trawler first pulled in a megamouth shark from the waters around Hawaii in 1976: ‘Look at the size of its ******* mouth,’ springs to mind. 

Being such a recent discovery, little is known about the life of a megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios); what we do know is that it has a wide distribution – while most have been found off Japan, megamouths have been found in areas as widespread as California, South Africa and Western Australia. It is also deep, spending most of its time looking for food at depths of between 150m and 1,000m. The mouth in question might look a menacing orifice, but in fact it holds no threat for divers as the shark is a harmless filter- feeder. The huge mouth captures a variety of plankton and small crustaceans in it, filtering them from the water through its gills. 

If the megamouth sharks that have been discovered thus far are representative of gender patterns in the wild, then it’s no fun being a male megamouth if you’re looking for a partner. Female specimens have proved elusive, the first one being found on the coast of Japan in 1994. 

Have your say...

  • No comments found
Add comment

Dive SignUp 2014 final

Latest Articles

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

Philippines 300x100 4Malta 300x100Oman 300x100Malaysia 300x100

DIVE Partners

WAKATOBI DIVE-online-300x100-B300x100 new buttonSportif3SimplyScuba rightAPDIVING-gif-300-100STW right FINAL

Trending

  1. Articles
  2. Comments
Guest - Bill
It feels like diving with sharks every time i Call the UK national express telephone contact number ...
DIVING WITH SHARKS in Joomla Article
Guest - Joan
I;ve been to Musandam last summer! Was fantastic but getting to and from the airport was a nightmar...
MUSANDAM in Joomla Article
Guest - Frances
Whoopee!!! Thank goodness someone has seen that dolphins are NOT to be circus acts, but free intell...
BAHAMAS DOLPHINARIUM SHUT DOWN in Joomla Article
Beautiful pictures! We went diving in Seychelles last November, but did not see as many nice things ...
MY DIVE | SEYCHELLES in Joomla Article
Guest - Taliena
Dived serval times in Willingen in the mine. Really great. There are more slatemines to dive. Nuttla...
STRANGE DIVES in Joomla Article

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below


PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final