Megachasma pelagios

TAYLOR, COMPAGNO & STRUHSAKER, 1983


Megamouth shark
Classification: Elasmobranchii Lamniformes Megachasmidae

Reference of the original description
TAYLOR, L.R. & COMPAGNO, L.J.V. & STRUHSAKER, P.J. (1983)
Megamouth a new species, genus and family of lamnoid sharks, Megachasma pelagios (Family Megachasmidae), from the Hawaiian Islands. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, (Series 4), 43 (8): 87–110

Image of the original description
Image in copyright.

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Megachasma cf. pelagios

Types
Megachasma pelagios
Holotype: BPBM: 22730;


Description :


Citation: Megachasma pelagios TAYLOR, COMPAGNO & STRUHSAKER, 1983: In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras, www.shark-references.com, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 04/2019

Please send your images of "Megachasma pelagios" to info@shark-references.com

Megachasma pelagios TAYLOR, COMPAGNO & STRUHSAKER, 1983, © FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Ebert, D.A. 2014. On Board Guide for the Identification of Pelagic Sharks and Rays of the Western Indian Ocean. Reproduced with permission, illustration by Marc Dando , Wildlife Illustrator
Common names
spa Tiburón bocudo, spa Tiburón bocón, fra \(T\) Requin grande guele, fra \(T\) Requin grande gueule, eng Megamouth shark

Short Description
Body stout, tapering posteriorly [1388], tadpole-like with larger head and tapering trunk and tail (Ref. 47786). Snout extremely short but broadly rounded [531] (Ref. 47786). Head huge, blubbery [1388]. Mouth very broad and terminal on head, with corner extending behind the eyes [1388] [531]. Jaws huge, protrusible anteriorly but not greatly distensible laterally [531] (Ref. 47786), lower jaw extending to snout tip [1388]. Teeth very small, numerous, hooked [1388] [531] (Ref. 47787). Gill slits moderately long, not reaching dorsal surface of head [1388] [531], internal gill slits lined with dense rows of papillose gill rakers [531]. Eyes semicircular (Ref. 47786), with no nictitating membrane [1388] [531](Ref. 47786). Two dorsal fins, relatively low and angular; small anal fin; long, narrow pectoral fins; moderate-sized pelvic fin; caudal fin asymmetrical, non-lunate, with a short and strong ventral lobe; upper pre-caudal pit only; caudal peduncle without keels or ridges [1388] [531].

Distribution
Pacific Ocean: Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Hawaii and California, USA. Atlantic Ocean: Brazil and Senegal. Source: www.gbif.org

Human uses
fisheries: of no interest

Biology
Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding on other ova produced by the mother (oophagy) after the yolk sac is absorbed [733]. Distinct pairing with embrace [17086]. Oceanic, possibly occurring in depths between 150 and 1,000 m [1388]. Feeds on planktivorous prey such as euphausiid shrimps, copepods and jellyfish [1388]. May also eat small midwater fishes. Possibly less active than the basking and whale sharks [1388]. Its feeding habits and habitat suggest that it may be a rare catch in the future.

Size / Weight / Age
549 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 47763)); 549 cm TL (female)

Habitat
pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous [17660]; marine; depth range 5 - 600 m [17640], usually 120 - 166 m (Ref. 48844)

Dentition
Tooth formula (upper/lower): 55-115/75-121

Links: SEM-images of teeth

Remarks
shark-references Species-ID=3605;

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
Cestoda
Copepoda