Friday, 23 August 2013


Bask - to lie in the warmth or sunshine is one meaning, another from the Viking language is to bathe.

The DP had not ever seen a Basking  Shark.  Well I did !  From the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Cafe.  So - along he came and got this picture.  

The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the second largest living fish, after the whale shark, and the second of three plankton-eating sharks, the other two being the whale shark and megamouth shark. It is a cosmopolitan migratory species, found in all the world's temperate oceans. It is a slow moving filter feeder and has anatomical adaptations to filter feeding, such as a greatly enlarged mouth and highly developed gill rakers. The shape of its snout is conical and the gill slits extend around the top and bottom of its head. The gill rakers are dark and bristle-like and are used to catch plankton as water filters through the mouth and over the gills. The basking shark is usually greyish-brown in color with mottled skin. The caudal (tail) fin has a strong lateral keel and a crescent shape. The teeth of the basking shark are very small and numerous and often number one hundred per row. The teeth themselves have a single conical cusp, are curved backwards and are the same on both the upper and lower jaws.
Basking sharks are a migrating species and are believed to overwinter in deep waters. They may occur in either small schools or alone. Small schools in the Bay of Fundy and the Hebrides have been seen swimming nose to tail in circles in what may be a form of mating behavior. Despite their large size and threatening appearance, basking sharks are not aggressive and are harmless to people.
It has long been a commercially important fish, as a source of food, shark fin, animal feed, and shark liver oil. Overexploitation has reduced its populations to the point where some have disappeared and others need protection.

The DP then went off to Edinburgh for a few days.


While he was gone we watched from the Lighthouse Cafe and SEVEN Basking Sharks appeared.

We had so many sight seers inside the cafe and down on the shoreline, including the Police, as some idiot decided to swim out to them, which is really not on, but he did get some amazing pictures.

 It has really been amazing to see these creatures.  

My trustee meetings with the Business Manager this week have taken place sitting on a bench looking out to the sea and watching these fish.  Everyone is talking about this, sharing, we are all basking in the glory of nature.


Laura Amy said...

Ahhh - I've seen some videos of these guys floating around the net, but those underwater photos are something else! So fascinating to think such creatures could be just off our coastline. Have you seen that there's been an orca whale just outside of Peterhead?!xo

justjill said...

Not just one Laura Amy but a pod, I have a video on my face book page, Jill Chandler. Its 9 minutes long so a bit tortuous, but worth it.

Laurie said...

oh my gosh, what an amazing experience, I hope they will replenish their numbers!

rusty duck said...

Wow, wow and WOW.
Watched the video. Amazing!

BadPenny said...

Incredible. I saw a few basking sharks when I was young. How wonderful to have such a sight though don't think I would swim with them even if they are plankton eating !

Mum said...

Love from Mum