Basking Shark Taxonomy

Basking Sharks © Marc Dando.Basking Sharks are members of the order mackerel sharks (Lamniformes). Although not the most speciose group, mackerel sharks are certainly one of the most diverse groups and also includes the Sandtiger, Goblin, Megamouth, Thresher, Porbeagle, White, Shortfin Mako, Longfin Mako and Crocodile Sharks.   

Despite being placid, planktivorous and the only member of the family Cetorhinidae, there are strong similarities between Basking Sharks and the more active, predatory members of the order. The large gill slits, torpedo shaped body and near symmetrical lunate (crescent shaped) tail are all mirrored in the White, mako, Salmon and Porbeagle Sharks.

Classification Table for the Basking Shark:

Kingdom: Animalia Animal
Phlyum: Chordata Possess Spinal Chord
Class: Chondrichthyes Cartilaginous Fish
Subclass: Elasmobranchii Sharks, skates and rays
Order: Lamniformes Mackerel Sharks
Family: Cetorhinidae Basking Sharks
Genus: Cetorhinus  
Species: Cetorhinus maximus  

➤ Download the Shark Trust's Taxonomic Chart for British Sharks (pdf).