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Nurse Shark

Grey Nurse SharkA Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)Grey Nurse Shark, The Pinnacles, Forster, NSWNurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) with remoras Remora, The BahamasAggregation of nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) at Highborne Cay, BahamasGrey nurse shark at the Minnesota ZooNurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) in an aquarium
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Nurse Shark Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Chondrichthyes
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Orectolobiformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Ginglymostomatidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Ginglymostoma
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Ginglymostoma Cirratum
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Fish
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Carnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
2.5-4.3m (8-14ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
90-150kg (198-330lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
40km/h (25mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
20-25 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, Brown, Grey, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Smooth
Favourite Food:Squid
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Warm waters and tropical coastal regions
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
20
Main Prey:Squid, Fish, Octopus
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Bull Shark, Tiger Shark
Special Features:Rounded dorsal fins and large tail fin

Nurse Shark Location

Map of Nurse Shark Locations

Nurse Shark

The nurse shark is most commonly found in the waters around central America, although natural habitat of the nurse shark ranges from the North USA to Brazil and nurse sharks are even found on the East Coast of Africa. The nurse shark is also found around the Caribbean Islands and from southern California to Peru on the American west coast.

The nurse shark is a common coastal bottom-dwelling shark, found in tropical and subtropical waters around the continental shelves. The nurse shark is frequently found at depths of one meter or less but it is not uncommon for nurse sharks to venture down to depths of 12 m.

Nurse sharks commonly habitat reefs, channels between mangrove islands and sand flats, where food is in abundance. The nurse shark preys on fish, shrimp, sea urchins, the occasional octopus and stingrays, and as with many other species of shark, the fast reactions and stealthy approach of the nurse shark mean that the nurse shark is easily able to have a meal.

Nurse sharks are nocturnal animals and are generally inactive during the day. It is in these hours of daylight that nurse sharks can be found together in groups of up to 40 nurse shark individuals. Despite this, the nurse shark is a solitary hunter and will spend the dark nights hunting alone. Nurse sharks appear to have resting spots that they return to daily rather than just resting anywhere. These preferred resting spots of the nurse shark tend to be in crevices in rocks and reefs.

The nurse shark mating season is in early summer. Female nurse sharks will retain their eggs inside them until they hatch and are fully developed, before a live birth then occurs. The nurse shark gestation period is approximately 6 months, when the female nurse shark will give birth to between 28 and 25 nurse sharks babies, known as pups.

Nurse sharks are generally known to be one of the more sluggish and docile sharks of the different species of shark. It is because of this that nurse sharks have been hunted for their tough, leathery skin and for their meat. Nurse sharks do not appear to pose any great threat to humans although a number of unprovoked attacks have been recorded.

Nurse sharks tend to live to around 25 years of age by which time the nurse shark is often over 4 m in length. When the baby nurse sharks are born, they tend to be around 30 cm long and are already fully developed. The darker skin of the baby nurse sharks tends to fade quickly as they age.

Nurse Shark Comments

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"i saw a man get bit by one of thease on untamed and uncut"
alex
"awesome!!!!!!!!!!!"
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First Published: 1st December 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Dec 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Dec 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Dec 2008]

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