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Ginglymostoma cirratum

Nurse Sharks

Size

Avg range is between 10-14ft (3 - 4.3m) and can weigh up to 250lbs (113kg)

Diet

Nocturnal feeders that love to pick up bottom-dwelling invertebrates like lobsters, shrimp, crabs, urchins, clams and even fish like mullet and puffers

Habitat

They prefer warmer waters like the Atlantic Ocean and depths from 3 to 115 ft (1 - 35m). Found on continental and insular shelves as well as in mangroves and coral reefs

Range

Found off North America, South America and Africa

Conservation Status

Lc

Least Concern

Nt

Near Threatened

Vu

Vulnerable

En

Endangered

Cr

Critical

Lw

Extinct in Wild

Ex

Extinct

Unlike most other shark species, nurse sharks are smooth to the touch.

The nocturnal nurse shark rests in giant piles on the sea floor during the day.

Nurse sharks are named for the unique suction sound that they make when searching for food in the substrate. They are nocturnal, resting on sandy bottoms and in crevices during the day and searching for prey at night. What nurse sharks lack in speed (they are slow-moving bottom-dwellers), they make up for in jaw strength! These strong jaws are also filled with thousands of tiny, serrated teeth. Nurse sharks can grow to be very large, upwards of 13 feet.

 

nurse shark FAQs

Size

Nurse sharks can grow to be very large, upwards of 13 feet

Status

Vulnerable