To about 21 ft (6.4 m).
- Teeth large, triangular, serrated
- Snout conical
- First dorsal fin large, triangular
- Color leaden-white to brown or black above, shading to gray-white below
- Caudal fin lunate with single keel on caudal peduncle
Newfoundland, Canada, and Gulf of St. Lawrence to FL, Cuba, Bahamas, and Gulf of Mexico. Uncommon throughout its range.
Coastal and offshore along continental shelf and islands.
Basking shark attains larger maximum size (around 32 ft (9.8 m)); has gill slits nearly encircling head. Shortfin mako, longfin mako, and porbeagle have bladelike, smooth-edged teeth, different coloration; attain smaller maximum size. Porbeagle has secondary keels on caudal fin.
Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico