Researchers Seek To Understand Why Basking Sharks Gather After Rare Group Sightings Off US Coast

Thousands of ‘basking sharks’ have been found along the northeastern coast of the United States and it’s baffling experts, to according National Geographic.

Scientists first witnessed in 1980 that this massive species of fish, which can grow as big as 32 feet long, can congregate in masses of more than 1,000 sharks. Basking sharks are also known by the name Cetorhinus maximus.

Experts are confused as to why basking sharks congregate as the animals spends 90 percent of their time deep underwater.

But there are some scientists who have theories. One theory is that the giant fish gather in order to reduce drag, or resistance from the water, caused by their open mouths during feeding. By congregating, the fish are able to draft off each other and conserve energy, researchers told National Geographic.

Scientists say the aerial data explaining why the fish congregate is still limited.

The basking sharks are considered the second largest fish in the world after the whale shark and pose no threats to humans.

 
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